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Full text of "Crystalline limestones of the Piedmont and mountain regions of North Carolina"

CI 

X«7^1 ^ 4orth Carolina SJate Library 

c.2 

North Carolina 
Department of Conservation and Development 

William P. Saunders, Director 



♦ 



Division of Mineral Resources 
Jasper L. Stuckey, State Geologist 



Bulletin Number 74 



CRYSTALLINE LIMESTONES OF THE 

PIEDMONT AND MOUNTAIN REGIONS 

OF NORTH CAROLINA 



By 

Stephen G. Conrad 



Raleigh 

I960 



North Carolina State Library 
Raleigh 



North Carolina 
Department of Conservation and Development 

William P. Saunders, Director 



♦ 



Division of Mineral Resources 
Jasper L. Stuckey, State Geologist 



Bulletin Number 74 



CRYSTALLINE LIMESTONES OE THE 

PIEDMONT AND MOUNTAIN REGIONS 

OF NORTH CAROLINA 



By 

Stephen G. Conrad 



Raleigh 

I960 



Members of the Board of Conservation and Development 

Governor Luther H, Hodges, Chairman Raleigh 

Miles J. Smith, First Vice Chairman Salisbury 

Walter J. Damtoft, Second Vice Chairman Asheville 

Charles S. Allen Durham 

W. B. Austin . Jefferson 

D.G.Bell Morehead City 

F. J. Boling Siler City 

Orton A. Boren Pleasant Garden 

H. C. Buchan, Jr North Wilkesboro 

Scroop W. Enloe, Jr Spruce Pine 

Voit Gilmore Southern Pines 

AmosR. Kearns ____High Point 

H. C. Kennett Durham 

R. W. Martin Raleigh 

Lorimer W. Midgett Elizabeth City 

Hugh M. Morton Wilmington 

Edwin Pate Laurinburg 

W. Eugene Simmons Tarboro 

T. Max Watson Spindale 



11 



Letter of Transmittal 

Raleigh, North Carolina 
March 2, I960 

To His Excellency, Honorable Luther H. Hodges 
Governor of North Carolina 

Sir: 

I have the honor to submit herewith manuscript for publica- 
tion as Bulletin 74, "Crystalline Limestones of the Piedmont and 
Mountain Regions of North Carolina", by Stephen G. Conrad. 

Limestone is the most widely used of all industrial rocks and 
it is essential in more industries than any other metallic or non- 
metallic mineral substance. It is believed that this report will be 
of value to those interested in the limestone deposits of the Pied- 
mont and Mountain Regions of North Carolina. 

Respectfully submitted, 

William P. Saunders, 
Director 



in 



Contents 

Page 

Abstract 1 

Introduction 1 

Methods of investigation 2 

Acknowledgments 2 

Limestone 2 

Definition 2 

Origin 2 

Physical properties 3 

Varieties 3 

Uses 4 

Dolomite 4 

Definition 4 

Origin 4 

Physical properties 4 

Varieties 4 

Uses 5 

Marble-crystalline limestone 5 

Definition and origin 5 

Physical properties = 5 

Varieties 6 

Uses 6 

Geographic distribution of crystalline limestone 6 

Description by areas 9 

Murphy belt 9 

General statement '. 9 

Murphy marble 9 

Distribution 9 

Character 9 

Zoning in the Murphy marble 11 

Accessibility 11 

History of production 13 

Description of workings 13 

Columbia Marble Company 13 

Nantahala Talc and Limestone Company 14 

iv 



Culberson quarry Ljl 15 

Kinsey quarry 1 15 

Regal quarry 16 

Red Marble Gap 16 

Peachtree-Brasstown area 17 

Macon County 17 

Dill lime kiln 17 

Jackson County 18 

Caney Fork deposit 18 

Hot Springs area — Madison County 18 

General statement 18 

Lime bearing rocks of the area 18 

Marble lenses in Precambrian gneisses and schists 18 

Lenticular beds in the Sandsuck formation 19 

Shady dolomite 21 

Honaker limestone 23 

Description of workings ; __ 23 

G. C. Buquo Lime Company ^____ 23 

Other properties , 25 

Brevard belt :__ . 1 25 

General statement : 25 

Marble in the Brevard schist i^ _i__ 25 

History of production 26 

Description of workings 26 

Transylvania County 26 

Bear Wallow Creek 26 

Curitan (Simms) quarry 26 

J. W. McQuire property (Barnard quarry) 27 

Henderson County 27 

Woodfin, Allison and Ezell quarries 27 

Cogdill Limestone Company 27 

Fletcher Limestone Company 28 

B & C Lime and Stone Company 28 

Buncombe County ^_~ 28 

Pinner Creek : 28 

Robinson Creek 30 

Groves Lake . 30 

Gravel Creek .^ i 30 

Bandana dolomite marble :___: 30 

v 



Ashe County 30 

Horse Creek deposit '. 30 

McDowell County 33 

General Statement 33 

Shady dolomite 33 

History of production 33 

Description of workings 34 

Woodlawn quarry (State Highway Commission) 34 

Clinchfield Lime Company 35 

Siliceous marble along the Catawba River 35 

General Statement 35 

General geology 35 

Description of marble 35 

Location of outcrops 37 

Exploratory drilling 38 

Significance of alinement of outcrops 38 

Economic possibilities of the marble 39 

Kings Mountain belt 39 

General statement 39 

Marble in the Kings Mountain belt 41 

History of production 41 

Description of workings ' 42 

Cleveland County 42 

Superior Stone Company (Kings Mountain quarry) 42 

Lincoln County 42 

Finger quarry 42 

Keener (Beal) quarry 43 

Catawba County 43 

Setzer quarry 43 

Old limestone quarry of Catawba County 43 

Shuford quarry 44 

Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Counties 44 

General statement 44 

Marble in the quartzite and gneiss units 45 

History of production 45 

Description of workings 47 

Yadkin County 47 

Lime Rocky quarry 47 

Watkins property 47 

Stokes County 48 

vi 



Bolejack quarry 48 

Wall property 48 

Edwards property 48 

Martin's lime kiln 49 

Forsyth County 49 

Hauser property 49 

Jordan (Franklin) property 49 

Bowen property 50 

Pearl property 50 

Other prospects 50 

Selected list of chemical analyses 51 

Murphy marble 51 

Macon County 51 

Jackson County 51 

Hot Springs area — Madison County 51 

Brevard belt 52 

Mitchell County 53 

McDowell County 53 

Kings Mountain belt 53 

Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Counties 54 

References cited 55 



vn 



Illustrations 



Page 



Figure 1. Geographic distribution of marble and dolomite in North 

Carolina 7 

2. Map showing outcrop area of Murphy marble in Cherokee, 
Clay, Macon, and Swain Counties, North Carolina 8 

3. Generalized geologic section of the Murphy marble belt in 
the vicinity of Marble, North Carolina 10 

4. Geologic section showing stratigraphic sequence in Murphy 
marble 12 

5. Map showing location of lenticular limestone beds in the 
Sandsuck formation 20 

6. Map showing outcrop area of Shady dolomite and Honaker 
limestone in Madison County, North Carolina 22 

7. Map showing outcrop area of the Brevard belt 24 

8. Map showing location of Bandana marble 29 

9. Section of Bandana dolomite marble in Mitchell County, 
North Carolina 31 

10. Map showing location of Shady dolomite in McDowell Coun- 
ty, North Carolina 32 

11. Outline map of Marion area showing marble outcrops 36 

12. Map showing outcrop area of Kings Mountain group 40 

13. Map showing marble in Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Coun- 
ties 46 



vm 



CRYSTALLINE LIMESTONES OF THE PIEDMONT 
AND MOUNTAIN REGIONS OF NORTH CAROLINA 

By 

Stephen G. Conrad 



ABSTRACT 

Crystalline limestones, or marbles, are found in 18 
counties in the Central and Western Piedmont and 
Mountain Regions of North Carolina. They occur as 
far east as Stokes and Forsyth Counties, and as far 
west and south as Cherokee County. The bodies of 
marble in part form elongated areas of considerable 
size and in part linear groups and isolated lenses of 
comparatively small size. These areas include several 
different geologic formations which range in age 
from Precambrian, the oldest recognized age in the 
earth's history, to Lower Paleozoic (?). 

The most extensive marble formation is the Mur- 
phy marble. It occurs in a narrow belt of meta- 
morphosed sedimentary rocks that begins just south- 
west of the Little Tennessee River in the southwest 
corner of the State and continues southwest across 
parts of Swain, Graham, Macon, Clay and Cherokee 
Counties. The thickness of the marble formation 
varies considerably along strike, but its maximum 
thickness is estimated to be about 500 feet. Both 
dolomitic and calcitic marble are present and the 
only producer of dimension marble in the State oper- 
ates a quarry in the Murphy marble in Cherokee 
County. 

In Madison County four types of lime-bearing 
rocks are present. These are: (1) small lenses of 
coarse crystalline marble associated with Precam- 
brian (?) gneisses and schists, (2) lenticular lime- 
stone beds in the Sandsuck formation, (3) the Shady 
dolomite, and (4) the Honaker limestone. The Shady 
dolomite was extensively quarried northwest of Hot 
Springs, but the quarries have been inactive since 
about 1930. 

Small, apparently isolated lenses of white, coarse- 
grained marble, associated with Precambrian (?) 
gneisses and schists occur in Macon, Jackson, Ashe, 
Mitchell and Cleveland Counties. 

The Brevard belt is a narrow belt of metamor- 
phosed sedimentary rocks which enters North Caro- 
lina in Transylvania County and passes northeast- 
ward through Henderson and Buncombe Counties. 



White to bluish gray, dolomitic and calcitic marble 
is known to occur in this belt from southwest of 
Rosman, in Transylvania County, to northeast of 
Fletcher in Buncombe County. 

Two types of lime-bearing rocks are present in 
McDowell County. The first, and only one that has 
been of commercial value, is an elongate area of 
Shady dolomite which occurs along the North Fork 
of the Catawba River in the northern part of the 
county. The other is a series of disconnected out- 
crops of siliceous marble that occurs along the Cataw- 
ba River between Greenlee and the west end of Lake 
James. 

The Kings Mountain belt, like the Murphy and 
Brevard belts, is composed of a narrow zone of steep- 
ly dipping metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. It 
extends from just south of Gaffney, South Carolina, 
northeastward almost to the Catawba River in North 
Carolina. The Gaffney marble occurs as discontin- 
uous beds, or lenses, for the entire length of the belt. 
It ranges in thickness from less than 50 feet to about 
800 feet and is predominently a fine grained, dark 
bluish gray to white, schistose marble. The Superior 
Stone Company operates the largest crushed lime- 
stone quarry in the State at Kings Mountain. 

In Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Counties two types 
of marble are present. One is a white to dark blue, 
fine grained, high calcium to dolomitic marble that 
is very similar to that in the Kings Mountain and 
Brevard belts. It occurs in a series of outcrops that 
begin south of Enon in Yadkin County and continues 
across Forsyth County through Vienna almost to the 
Stokes County line near Germanton. The other is pre- 
dominently a whitish, coarsely crystalline marble 
that occurs interbedded with mica schist and quartz- 
ite. The outcrops of this marble are found in Yadkin 
and Stokes Counties, but do not form a conspicuous 
pattern as does the other type. 

INTRODUCTION 

The limestone resources of North Carolina can be 
classified into two broad groups. These are: (1) the 

1 



limestones and marls of the Coastal Plain, and (2) 
the crystalline limestones, or*marbles, of the Pied- 
mont and Mountain Regions. 

The limestones and marls of the Coastal Plain 
have been described in previous publications by 
Emmons (1852), Watson and Laney (1906), Clark, 
et. al. (1912), Loughlin, Berry and Cushman (1921) 
and Berry (1947). All of these publications, except 
Berry (1947), have been out of print and unavailable 
for distribution for a newmber of years. In view of 
the information contained in the report by Berry 
(1947), the Coastal Plain was not included in the 
present study. 

The limestone resources of the Piedmont and 
Mountain Regions were also described in the publi- 
cations by Watson and Laney (1906) and Loughlin, 
Berry and Cushman (1921). As these reports have 
been out of print for a number of years, and as there 
has been continued interest shown in the limestone 
resources of the Piedmont and Mountain Regions of 
the State, this report has been prepared to meet this 
interest. 

Methods of Investigation 

The fieldwork for this report was carried out dur- 
ing the summer and fall of 1958, and intermittently 
during the fall and winter of 1959. An important 
phase of the field work was to accurately locate and 
describe every known occurrence of limestone in the 
Piedmont and Mountain Regions of the State. Many 
of these deposits were discovered by the early set- 
tlers of North Carolina and used by them to provide 
lime for local use. Most of the deposits were worked 
from prior to the War Between the States to as late 
as 1900. Many openings were small and during the 
years of inactivity they have filled up and are grown 
over by trees and undergrowth. Consequently, in 
most cases there is very little physical evidence of 
their ever having existed. 

The examination of these old quarries consisted of 
a study of the general characteristics of the lime- 
stone and associated rocks and, where possible, repre- 
sentative rock specimens were collected. Strike and 
dip measurements were made along with observa- 
tions of any other structural features present. The 
size and shape of the excavations were noted and in- 
formation collected from local residents on the his- 
tory and production of each quarry visited. 

The examination of the active quarries consisted 
of the collection of essentially the same information 
that was noted at the abandoned quarries. In addi- 
tion, information was secured on the methods and 
equipment used in quarrying, transportation facili- 



ties and equipment and methods used in crushing or 
cutting and finishing the stone. Information was also 
collected on the production, uses, and the principle 
market for limestone from each quarry. 

Acknowledgments 

This report was authorized by and conducted un- 
der the direction of Dr. J. L. Stuckey, State Geologist, 
who also furnished much background material and 
examined a number of properties with the writer. 

Grateful acknowledgment is also due the owners 
and quarry operators who were very generous with 
their time and knowledge. To the owners of the 
land on which the abandoned quarries and kilns are 
located, thanks are extended for their permission to 
examine the properties. Local residents of the vari- 
ous areas visited were most helpful in directing the 
writer to the abandoned, and in some instances, al- 
most forgotten quarries. On several occasions cer- 
tain individuals guided the writer to remote or diffi- 
cult to find localities and their assistance is much 
appreciated. 

Mr. P. N. Sales, Chemist, North Carolina State 
College Minerals Research Laboratory, did the ana- 
lyses on 14 selected samples. Mr. Earl C. Van Horn, 
Consulting Geologist, furnished valuable information 
in the form of chemical analyses and drill hole logs 
on the marbles in McDowell, Yadkin, Stokes and 
Forsyth Counties. Mr. W. F. Wilson of the staff of 
the Division of Mineral Resources, drafted most of 
the illustrations. The writer gratefully acknow- 
ledges their cooperation. 

In order to bring all the available information to- 
gether and make this report as complete as possible, 
free use, with proper acknowledgment has been made 
of a number of previous publications. Particularly 
helpful were those by Watson and Laney (1906), 
and Loughlin, Berry and Cushman (1921). 

LIMESTONE 

Definition 

Limestone is a loosely used term that has been 
applied to a wide range of rocks that yield lime 
(CaO) when burned. However, the suitability of the 
rock for the manufacture of lime is not an essential 
characteristic. Calcium carbonate (CaC0 3 ) is the 
predominating componant of limestone, but mag- 
nesium carbonate (MgC0 3 ) may be present in vary- 
ing amounts. 

Origin 

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that originated 
chiefly from the accumulation of calcareous shells, or 



fragments of shells, or other limy remains of organ- 
isms that inhabit oceans and lakes. These deposits, 
supplemented by chemically precipitated calcium 
carbonate, accumulate for long periods of time and 
may eventually become quite thick. They may con- 
sist almost entirely of carbonates and in time be- 
come pure, high-grade limestones. On the other 
hand, during deposition they may be mixed or inter- 
bedded with varying amounts of sand, clay, iron 
oxide, or other detrital material and become on con- 
solidation sandy limestone, clayey limestone, or cal- 
careous sandstone and calcareous shale, depending 
upon the ratio of impurities to carbonates. 

Although most limestones are formed in the above 
manner, important deposits have also been formed 
by the direct precipitation of calcium carbonate in 
water. Two examples of this process are lithographic 
limestone which is an extremely fine-grained or dense 
variety, and oolitic limestone which is composed of 
very small, rounded grains of calcium carbonate, re- 
sembling fish roe. 

Physical Properties 

Limestones have a hardness of less than 4 (Mohs' 
hardness scale) and can be easily scratched or cut by 
a knife. The specific gravity ranges from less than 
2.0 to 2.7, and the weight varies from 110 to 170 
pounds per cubic foot, depending on the porosity and 
the amount of impurities present. In texture they 
range from amorphous to coarsely crystalline. The 
color is determined largely by the impurities present 
and may range from pure white to black. When 
touched with a drop of dilute hydrochloric acid lime- 
stone will react with a very brisk foaming or efferves- 
cent action. This is due to the escape of carbon 
dioxide gas (C0 2 ). A less noticeable reaction can 
be obtained with vinegar or lemon juice. 

Limestones are very soluble in the presence of 
slightly acid water; consequently, they tend to 
weather much faster than associated rocks and val- 
leys or depressions often develop along a body of 
limestone. This is particularly true where the lime- 
stone is tilted and dips at a steep angle. During the 
processes of weathering calcium carbonate is car- 
ried away in solution and the insoluble impurities 
are left behind. These impurities, plus the insoluble 
remains of rocks that formerly overlay the limestone 
become concentrated and form residual soils. These 
soils are usually deep red or yellow clays and loams 
and are so colored by the oxidation of the iron min- 
erals originally present. 



Varieties 

There are many varieties of limestone and they 
have been classified a number of ways. However, 
the most commonly used and widely accepted classi- 
fication is based on origin and impurities that give 
the rock a distinctive character. Listed below are 
most of the commonly recognized varieties: 

Siliceous or cherty limestone. — A limestone inti- 
mately mixed with silica, usually in the form 
of chert nodules or layers. 

Arenaceous limestone. — Limestone containing 
considerable amounts of quartz sand. 

Argillaceous limestone. — Limestone containing 
considerable amounts of clay. 

Carbonaceous or bituminous limestone. — Lime- 
stone containing considerable organic matter. 

Common compact limestone. — A fine-grained, 
dense, homogeneous limestone varying from 
light gray to almost black. 

Lithographic limestone. — An exceedingly fine- 
grained, homogeneous, crystalline limestone. Its 
surface can be etched with weak acid and it was 
once used extensively in lithographic printing. 

Oolitic limestone. — A limestone composed of 
small, rounded grains of calcium carbonate with 
a concentrically laminated structure which re- 
sembles fish roe. The name oolite was derived 
from a Greek word meaning "eggstone". The 
individual oolites often contain some object, such 
as a sand grain or shell fragment, that served as 
a nucleus around which the laminae of carbonate 
were deposited. 

Fossilif erous limestone. — A limestone containing 
abundant fossil shells or other animal remains 
such as bones and shark teeth. In some cases 
the rock is composed almost entirely of the shells 
or hard parts of one particular kind of organism. 
In such cases, the limestone is named for the 
predominating fossils; for instance, crinoid, 
coral or coquina limestone. 

Chalk. — A white to light gray, fine-grained, very 
porous limestone composed mostly of minute 
shells of foraminifera and plates and discs of 
planktonic calcareous algae in a matrix of finely 
crystalline calcite. 

Marl. — A loose earthy material composed chiefly 
of calcium carbonate intermixed with varying 
amounts of clay and other impurities. There 



are several varieties of marl and they are named 
according to the special substance which they 
contain, for instance, sandy marl. Shell marl is 
a whitish, earthy material composed of frag- 
ments of shells intermixed with varying amounts 
of clay. 

Travertine. — A limestone formed by the deposi- 
tion of calcium carbonate from solution at the 
orifices of springs. It is usually light colored, 
concretionary and compact. Varieties that take 
a good polish are called onyx marble, or Mexican 
onyx, and used as ornamental stone. Porous or 
cellular varieties are called calcareous tufa, cal- 
careous sinter, or spring deposits. Stalactites, 
stalagmites and dripstone, which are deposited 
in limestone caves, are also forms of travertine. 

Uses 

Limestone is the most widely used of all industrial 
rocks and it is essential in more industries than any 
other metallic or nonmetallic mineral substance 
(Bowles, 1939, p. 377). This wide range of applica- 
tion is due to the fact that limestone has the neces- 
sary physical properties that make it suitable for 
practically all the uses for which any form of crushed 
stone may be employed. It has certain chemical 
properties that make it not only useful, but essential 
to a great many industrial processes. In addition, it 
is one of the most important building, or dimension 
stones. 

Listed below are some of the main uses of lime- 
stone, based on these three major classes: 

Uses as dimension stone: 

Cut stone, including ashler 
Rough building stone 
Rubble 

Flagstone 

Uses based on physical properties: 



Concrete aggregate 

Road stone 

Railroad ballast 

Riprap 

Dusting coal mines 



Chalk, whiting and 
whiting substitutes 
Sewage filter beds 
Stucco and terrazzo 
Poultry grit 
Asphalt filler 



Uses based on chemical properties : 



Cement 

Lime 

Furnace flux 

Agricultural limestone 

Alkali 

Calcium carbide 

Sugar beet refining 



Glass making 
Rubber making 
Paper making 
Fertilizer filler 
Carbon dioxide 
Mineral wool 



DOLOMITE 
Definition 

Dolomite is a mineral composed of calcium and 
magnesium carbonates and expressed by the formula 
CaMg(C0 3 ) 2 . Dolomite also refers to a carbonate 
rock, which in its pure state is composed of 54.3 
percent calcium carbonate (CaC0 3 ) and 45.7 percent 
magnesium carbonate (MgC0 3 ). This can also be 
expressed as 30.4 percent lime (CaO), 21.9 percent 
magnesia (MgO) and 47.7 percent carbon dioxide 
(CO:-). It is possible for some of the magnesium to 
be replaced by manganese, ferrous iron and rarely 
a few other elements without modification of the 
crystallographic structure. 

Origin 

The problem of the origin of dolomite (the carbon- 
ate rock) has been one of much interest and discus- 
sion by geologists for many years. A number of 
theories of origin have been proposed, but it is now 
well established that most dolomites were formed by 
the replacement of limestones. When this replace- 
ment took place is still uncertain. It can take place 
before the sediments are buried by succeeding strata, 
after burial but before uplift, or after burial and 
uplift. It is also possible that replacement, or dolo- 
mitization, takes place at more than one stage. 

For those interested in a more detailed discussion 
on the origin of dolomite, "Sedimentary Rocks", by 
F. J. Pettijohn and "Principles of Sedimentation", 
by W. H. Twenhofel, are recommended. 

Physical Properties 

Dolomite is very similar to limestone and the de- 
scription of the color, texture and other physical 
properties given above for limestone applies equally 
well to dolomite. Except for the fact that dolomite 
is slightly harder and heavier than limestone, the 
two are so similar that it is almost impossible to dis- 
tinguish them by visual inspection in hand specimens. 
However, where limestone effervesces freely in cold 
dilute hydrochloric acid, dolomite will effervesce only 
slightly or not at all. The acid has to be heated or 
the dolomite powdered before a strong reaction takes 
place. 

Varieties 

In the strict sense of the word only those carbon- 
ate rocks in which the ratio of calcium carbonate to 
magnesium carbonate is 54.3 to 45.7 should be called 
dolomite. Rocks in which this theoretical ratio is 






present are relatively rare. However, limestones 
that contain varying amounts of magnesia (MgO) 
are not uncommon. There are all gradation between 
completely calcitic and completely dolomitic lime- 
stones, but rocks that contain appreciable amounts 
of both calcite and dolomite are less abundant than 
those in which either calcite or dolomite predomi- 
nates. 

As magnesian limestones may be considered physi- 
cal mixtures of the minerals calcite and dolomite, it 
is possible to subdivide the various gradations from 
high-calcium limestone to high-magnesian limestone 
to dolomite by determining the ratio of calcite to 
dolomite present. Several such classifications have 
been proposed by different workers, but the one 
which is perhaps most widely recognized is that by 
Pettijohn (1949, p. 313). Briefly, his classification is 
as follows: 

Limestone. — Contains more than 95% calcite 
and less than 5% dolomite. 

Magnesian limestone. — Contains from 90 % to 
95% calcite and from 5% to 10% dolomite. 

Dolomitic limestone. — Contains from 50% to 
90% calcite and from 10% to 50% dolomite. 

Calcitic Dolomite. — Contains from 10% to 50% 
calcite and from 50% to 90% dolomite. 

Dolomite. — Contains less than 10% calcite and 
more than 90% dolomite. 

Uses 

In crushed and broken form dolomite and calcitic 
dolomite are used for practically the same purposes 
as limestone. These uses are based mainly on physi- 
cal properties and the more important ones include 
concrete aggregate, road metal, riprap, railroad bal- 
last and as a fertilizer and soil conditioner. The use 
of dolomite or calcitic dolomite instead of limestone 
for these purposes, except as a fertilizer and soil con- 
ditioner in North Carolina, is mostly a question of 
economics rather than one type of rock being more 
desirable than the other. 

■ Although limestone and dolomite are interchange- 
able for a number of uses, there are some processes 
and products in which dolomite or calcitic dolomite 
is essential. The most important of which are : 

High magnesium lime 

Refractories (dead-burned dolomite) 

Technical carbonate (basic magnesium carbonate) 

Furnace flux 

Glass manufacture 

Source of magnesium metal 



MARBLE-CRYSTALLINE LIMESTONE 
Definition and Origin 

Marble is a metamorphic rock that was formed by 
the recrystallization under heat and pressure of lime- 
stone or dolomite. It has essentially the same chemi- 
cal composition as limestone or dolomite and is com- 
posed mostly of grains of calcite, dolomite or a mix- 
ture of the two. Crystalline limestone refers to a 
limestone that has been metamorphosed, or recrystal- 
lized, and the term is in most cases synonomous with 
marble. 

In the building industry the term marble has a 
much wider application. As the facility to take a 
polish is the chief commercial asset, it includes all 
calcaceous rocks, and certan serpentine rocks which 
are adapted to ornamental building or monumental 
work. Most of the limestones and dolomites in the 
western half of North Carolina, in the geological 
sense, should be called marbles. However, owing to 
excessive fracturing or unattractive color, they have 
no commercial value as marble, but have been ex- 
ploited for various uses as limestone or dolomite. 
Consequently, most of these deposits have been re- 
ferred to by the producers as limestone. Although 
this is a misnomer, the term limestone is well estab- 
lished and will probably continue in use as a trade 
or commercial name, and perhaps as a field term. 

Physical Properties 

The hardness of pure marble is the same as calcite 
(3) , and can be easily scratched by a knife. However, 
the presence of impurities such as silica or silicate 
minerals may increase the hardness. The normal 
color of pure calcite or dolomite marbles is white. 
Variations from the whiteness of pure marble are due 
to pigmentary impurities, mainly carbonaceous mat- 
ter and iron oxides. These impurities produce such 
colors as gray, black, yellow or red. The coloration 
may be uniform, but it is usually present as bands 
or streaks. 

The specific gravity of calcite is 2.7, whereas that 
of dolomite is 2.9. Therefore, dolomitic marbles are 
silghtly heavier than calcite marbles. Their weight 
ranges from about 165 to 180 pounds per cubic foot, 
depending on the porosity and composition. Unlike 
most metamorphic rocks, marble unless it contains a 
relatively high percentage of impurities, is generally 
massive and nonfoliated but is often badly fractured 
by joints. The grain size ranges from very fine (less 
than 0.5 mm) to very coarse (up to 0.5 inch). 



'* 

** 



Varieties 

As previously stated most marbles have been form- 
ed by the recrystallization of limestone or dolomite. 
Based on mineral composition the resulting rock may 
be a calcite marble or a dolomite marble. A calcite 
marble may contain from 95 to almost 100 percent 
calcium carbonate, and a pure dolomite marble ap- 
proaches the theoretical composition of dolomite, 
which is 54 percent calcium carbonate and 46 percent 
magnesium carbonate (Bowles, 1958, p. 1). It is also 
possible for the resulting rock to have a composition 
anywhere between the two extremes. 

Very few marbles are either pure calcite or pure 
dolomite, but contain varying amounts of impurities. 
The impurities occur as minerals, the most common 
ones being quartz or some other form of free silica, 
hematite, limonite, graphite, mica, chlorite, tremo- 
lite, wallastonite, diopside, hornblende, tourmaline, 
pyrite, garnet, feldspar, epidote, serpentine and talc. 

Fossiliferous marbles have been effected not at all, 
or only slightly in some cases, by metamorphism and 
recrystallization and are therefore not marble in the 
strict sense of the word. They are limestones that 
have a close enough texture to take a good polish 
and the fossils add to their decorative qualities. The 
widely used Holston marble of East Tennessee is an 
outstanding example. 

Onyx marbles, or Mexican onyx, are chemical de- 
posits that are formed by the precipitation of cal- 
cium carbonate from cold water solution. These de- 
posits build-up around springs, in rifts and cracks or 
cavities in the rocks through which the solution 
flows. Pigmentary impurities such as iron and man- 
ganese oxide are often present during deposition and 
successive layers may have different colors. This 
causes a banding effect which makes a very attractive 
decorative stone. 

Verde antique is a dark-green rock composed most- 
ly of serpentine, a hydrous magnesium silicate. It is 
usually streaked or crisscrossed with white and red 
veinlets of calcium and magnesium carbonates. 
Verde antique is not related to marble in either com- 
position or origin but is classed commercially as a 
marble because it takes a good polish and is a highly 
decorative stone. 

Uses 

Marble is used primarily as a building stone, both 
interior and exterior, monuments, statuary and 
novelties. For exterior use in building the endurance 
qualities of the marble are important, whereas, for 
interior use appearance and color are primary con- 
siderations. Products included in interior uses are 



floors, steps, baseboards, wainscotings, wall panels, 
balusters, columns and arches. 

Because of its pure white color and uniform grain 
size statuary marble is the most valuable variety for 
monuments, as appearance and color are the primary 
requirements. A wide variety of marble is used for 
memorial stone. Onyx marble, verde antique and 
other ornamental types are used mainly for interior 
decoration as well as for novelties such as inkwells, 
lamp bases, ashtrays, book ends, etc. 

In even the most efficient marble quarries recovery 
of usuable stone is usually less than 50 percent of 
the gross quarry output (Bowles, 1958, p. 27). This 
plus the further waste resulting from sawing, plan- 
ning, cutting and carving in the finishing mill, creates 
a serious problem of waste disposal to most marble 
producers. 

As most marble has the same chemical composition 
as limestone, waste marble can be used for many of 
the same chemical and industrial processes as lime- 
stone. In crushed and broken form, waste marble 
is used for terrazzo flooring, agricultural lime, con- 
crete aggregate and roadstone. Waste blocks are 
cut to convenient thicknesses and used for the same 
purposes as bricks or other building stone veneers in 
house construction. Marble used in this manner 
makes a very attractive wall or fireplace and is be- 
ing used in increasing quantities. 

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF 
CRYSTALLINE LIMESTONE 

Crystalline limestones, or marbles, are found in 
18 counties in the Central and Western Piedmont and 
Mountain Regions of North Carolina. They occur as 
far east as Stokes and Forsyth Counties, and as far 
west and south as Cherokee County. The bodies of 
marble in part form elongated areas of considerable 
size and in part linear groups and isolated lenses of 
comparatively small size. 

These areas include several different geologic 
formations which range in age from Precambrian, 
the oldest recognized age in the earth's history, to 
Lower Paleozoic (?) (Geologic Map of North Caro- 
lina, 1958). In some regions of the country certain 
limestone formations can be correlated for many 
miles by fossil and physical evidence. Unfortunately, 
this is not the case in North Carolina and although 
some of the formations have been tentatively correl- 
ated with others, the age and history of most of 
the crystalline limestones and dolomites in North 
Carolina is unknown and not thoroughly understood 
at the present time. Therefore, each area and poten- 
tial quarry site must be considered individually and 



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for this reason the crystalline limestones and dolo- 
mites will be discussed in geographic rather than 
geologic order. 

DESCRIPTION BY AREAS 

Murphy Belt 

General Statement 

The Murphy belt begins just south of the Little 
Tennessee River in the southwest corner of North 
Carolina and continues southwest across parts of 
Swain, Graham, Macon, Clay and Cherokee Counties 
(Geologic Map of North Carolina, 1958) . It continues 
into Georgia and is known to occur as far southwest 
as Cartersville. The belt is composed of a sequence 
of metasedimentary rocks which Keith (1907) map- 
ped and named in ascending order: Tusquitee 
quartzite, Brasstown schist, Valleytown formation, 
Murphy marble, Andrews schist and Nottely quart- 
zite. According to Keith's interpretation, the rocks 
in the Murphy belt represent a syncline, the central 
axis of which is marked by the Murphy marble and 
Nottely quartzite. Besides Keith, other geologists 
who have studied the Murphy belt in more or less 
detail in North Carolina and Georgia, include Wat- 
son and Laney (1906), La Forge and Phalen (1913), 
Loughlin, Berry and Cushman (1921), Stuckey and 
Fontaine (1933), Bayley (1925), Van Horn (1948) 
and Hurst (1955). These previous publications were 
freely drawn upon in the following discussion of the 
Murphy marble. 

Murphy Marble 

Distribution. — The main belt of the Murphy marble 
begins about 2 miles southwest of Wesser, Swain 
County. It is exposed in the gorge of the Nantahala 
River, and its tributaries, to Red Marble Gap and 
Topton. Southwest from Topton to Valleytown the 
marble occurs as a narrow sinuous band along the 
headwaters of the Valley River. From Valleytown 
through Andrews to Marble the Valley River forms 
a broad valley. Along this interval the dip of the 
marble beds flatten considerably and the marble 
.spreads out and underlies most of the floor of the 
valley. From Marble southwest through Murphy and 
on into Georgia the marble stands nearly on edge 
and forms a narrow almost straight band along the 
Valley and Nottely rivers. 

A second, but much smaller belt of the Murphy 
marble, extends from Peachtree down Calhoun 
Branch, across the Hiwassee River, and up Little 
Brasstown Creek to the vicinity of Martin Creek 
School. As stated by Van Horn (1948, p. 8) owing 



to recent stream deposits, upper terrace gravels and 
deep overburden, outcrops of the marble in this belt 
are limited and previous mapping appears to have 
been based mostly on indirect evidence. 

Character. — The formation is a true marble in the 
geologic sense. Dolomitic marble and calcitic marble 
are present, but the dolomitic variety predominates. 
Grain size ranges from fine to coarse and the pre- 
dominant colors are white and gray. However, dark 
gray or blue and mottled blue and white beds form 
a large portion of the marble. Between Red Marble 
Gap and Nantahala a limited amount of mottled light 
flesh pink to rose marble is exposed in the steep 
slopes above Rowlin Creek. 

The Murphy marble is overlain by the Andrews 
schist and underlain by the Valleytown formation 
(Keith, 1907) . Outcrops of the contacts are rare but 
from exposures in Nantahala River, Hiwassee River, 
Marble Creek and several of the quarries it can be 
seen that the marble passes into the overlying and 
underlying rocks by gradation. Upward it grades 
into the Andrews schist through a zone of alternat- 
ing beds of marble and ottrelite schist. Van Horn 
(1948, p. 13) states that the gradation is broad and 
that nearly half of the overlying formation is calcar- 
eous. Downward it grades into the Valleytown forma- 
tion through several feet of interbedding with mica 
schist (Keith, 1907, p. 5). Near the contacts with 
the overlying and underlying rocks the marble con- 
tains more of the secondary minerals and there is 
considerable development of micaceous minerals. The 
most common secondary minerals present in the 
marble are muscovite, biotite, talc, tremolite, actino- 
lite, ottrelite, garnet, pyrite and quartz. Also present 
are lesser amounts of graphite, phlogopite, chlorite 
and scapolite. 

The thickness of the marble is variable. At the 
North Carolina-Georgia state line it is less than 200 
feet thick. At Kinsey it is estimated by Van Horn 
(1948, p. 12) to be 350 feet thick. From Marble to 
just northeast of Andrews the area underlain by the 
marble reaches its maximum width (about y 2 mile) . 
This is due in part to folding but the formation also 
probably reaches its maximum thickness, which is 
estimated by Keith (1907, p. 5) to be about 500 feet. 
Northeast of Andrews the marble thins rapidly and 
is absent in places along strike. It begins to thicken 
again northeast of Red Marble Gap and attains a 
thickness of up to 350 feet between Nantahala and 
Talc Mountain (Van Horn, 1948, p. 11). Beyond 
this point the marble again thins rapidly and dis- 
appears entirely in the vicinity of Busnell 8. Except 
for local variations the marble has an average strike 



9 



of N 45° E and usually dips about 50° SE. A promi- 
nent feature of the marble is the abundance of frac- 
tures or joints. Two systems of joints that strike 
N 20°— 35° E and N 30°— 70° W, prevail throughout 
the formation and in most places a third and some- 
times a fourth system of subordinate joints are 
present (Watson and Laney, 1906, p. 193). The 
joints are spaced from an inch up to sixteen feet 
apart. This abundance of closely spaced joints great- 
ly reduces the amount of marble suitable for dimen- 
sion stone. However, large amounts of good material 
can be found in some areas. 

As stated previously, the Murphy marble is com- 
posed of both dolomitic marble and calcific marble. 
Enough detailed sampling has not been done to 
determine the ratio of dolomite to calcite through- 
out the formation but Keith (1907, p. 5) states that 
dolomitic marble occurs more frequently in the lower 
portion of the formation. From various analyses 
of the marble its composition varies from 58 to 93 
percent CaC0 3 and from 3 to 36 percent MgC0 3 . 

Zoning in the Murphy marble. — Previous to 1948, 
most of the geologic studies of the Murphy marble 
were limited to the relatively few natural outcrops, 
quarries, talc mines and some exploratory core drill- 
ing done in the search for suitable quarry sites for 
dimension stone. Consequently, very little detail was 
known about the stratigraphy of the formation. As 
a result of a detail study by Van Horn (1948) on the 
talc deposits which occur in the Murphy marble a 
definite zoning or stratigraphic sequence has been 
established. This sequence was worked out from the 
study of some 75 drill hole cores which were drilled 
intermittently from the vicinity of Hewitts south- 
west to Kinsey. An average sequence as worked out 
by Van Horn (1948, p. 12) from top to bottom of 
the local attitude is as follows : 

feet 
Fine to medium-grained white and light-gray marble 
containing ottrelite and phlogoplite, and having 
interbedded calcareous schist in the upper portion. 
(Transition zone) 25 

White, medium to coarse-grained marble having 
tremolite and pyrite. (Coarse white zone) 25 

Gray, coarse to medium-grained marble having trem- 
plite and pyrite (Coarse gray zone) 30 

Blue-black to bluish-gray, coarse-grained, graphitic 
marble, occasionally styolitic, with short (2 mm) 
tremolite needles and rarely grains or clusters of 
pyrite. (Blue zone) 40 

Medium to light gray, medium-grained marble, some- 
times styolitic at top, with tremolite needles up to 
10 mm long. (Gray zone) 20 



Light bluish-gray, fine-grained, lusterless marble, 
with or without tremolite, which is given a distinc- 
tive mottled appearance because of a myriad of small 
internal fractures. (Mottled zone) 15 

White, medium to fine-grained dolomitic marble. 
This is the zone which is often partly silicified and 
which contains commercial talc deposits. (Talc or 
white zone) 45 

Mixed, sometimes banded, gray and white, medium 
to coarse-grained marble which contains thin beds of 
pink marble and accessory pyrite, phlogopite, actino- 
lite, quartz, tremolite, muscovite, chlorite and scapo- 
lite. (Mixed zone) 25 

Light and dark gray, banded, argillaceous marble, 
often jointed and brecciated, with accessory biotite, 
chlorite and muscovite and small specks of talc. 
(Slaty zone) 2*5 

Medium to fine-grained marble, having intermittent 
zones of white, pink and gray color, nearly all of 
which is characterized by the presence of actinolite 
clusters and pyrite, and which has considerable 
phlogopite in the. lower portions. Sand grains, sec- 
ondary quartz and small scales of talc occur at 
random. (Actinolite zone) 85 

Dark micaceous marble and thin slate and schist 
laminae, having pyrite, chlorite, biotite and musco- 
vite. (Transition zone) 20 

As stated above, this is an average section where 
the formation exceeds 150 feet in thickness. In 
areas where the formation thins the sequence is dis- 
rupted. It was also found that where the formation 
retains a more or less constant thickness along strike 
the individual zones thicken and thin at the expense 
of each other. 

According to Van Horn (1948, p. 19) the south- 
east dipping beds of the formations included in the 
Murphy belt are overturned, except in minor folds. 
He interprets these overturned beds to be part of 
the northwest limb of an overturned anticline. This 
interpretation is in contrast to Keith's theory that 
the rocks in the Murphy belt are part of a broad 
syncline in which the marble is prevented from re- 
appearing southeast of the fold axis by faulting. Re- 
gardless of which interpretation of the structure is 
correct, the zoning in the Murphy marble established 
by Van Horn would be unaffected for all practical 
purposes and should prove to be a useful geologic 
tool in any future development in both the talc and 
marble industry. 

Accessibility. — The Southern Railway and U. S. 
Highway 19-129, follow closely the main belt of the 
Murphy marble from the northeast terminus of the 
marble to Murphy. From Murphy southwest to Cul- 
berson and on into Georgia the Louisville and Nash- 



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ville Railroad, U. S. Highways 19, 64 and 129 and 
N. C. Highway 60 serve as access to the marble. 

The Murphy belt is covered by up to date 7y 2 min. 
topographic maps (scale 1:24,000) published by the 
Tennessee Valley Authority. The maps which cover 
the area are: Culberson (TVA 1941), Persimmon 
Creek (TVA 1957), Murphy (TVA 1957), Peachtree 
(TVA 1937), McDaniel Bald (TVA 1957), Marble 
(TVA 1938), Andrews (TVA 1938), Wayah Bald 
(TVA 1957), Hewitt (TVA 1940) and Wesser (TVA 
1940). These maps can be purchased from the Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee, or the 
United States Geological Survey, Washington 25, 
D. C. 

History of Production 

Marble beds in Cherokee and a part of Macon 
County along the course of the Valley River, were 
noted by Kerr as early as 1875. However, the first 
recorded attempt to quarry the marble was not until 
the late 1880's when the marble in the Nantahala 
River gorge was quarried to a very limited extent. 
The first attempt to quarry the marble on a syste- 
matic basis was in 1891-92 when the Culberson and 
Kinsey quarries were opened. The Culberson quarry 
was not successful and operated for only a few years. 
The Kinsey quarry, operated by the Notla Consoli- 
dated Marble and Talc Company was somewhat more 
successful and was worked intermittently until about 
1912. Some dimension stone was produced for the 
first few years but later production was mostly for 
flux used in copper smelting. 

During the early 1900's, the Murphy marble at- 
tracted considerable attention as a potential building 
and monumental stone and several companies were 
engaged in exploration and development work. The 
Hewitt quarry near Hewitt Station was opened about 

1901 and the famous Regal quarry was opened about 

1902 by the National Marble Company. The stone 
produced at the Regal quarry was a very attractive 
mottled blue and white marble and it became widely 
known as "Regal Blue Marble". The Cherokee Coun- 
ty courthouse in Murphy was built with stone from 
this quarry and about 35,000 cubic feet of cut stone 
were used. Ownership of the Regal quarry changed 
hands several times during its history and it was 
finally closed and the quarry flooded in 1926. After 
the Regal quarry was closed the Regal Blue Marble 
Company, which was the last company to operate 
the quarry was reorganized under the name Carolina 
Marble Quarries, Inc., and work was started on a 
new plant and quarry at Marble. No production was 
ever reported from this company and in 1931 the 



Columbia Marble Company acquired the property. 
During 1932 considerable development work was 
done and an all steel finishing plant was built. Since 
1932 the Columbia Marble Company has been in 
continuous operation and is the only producer of di- 
mension marble in North Carolina. 

About 1908 the North Carolina Mining and Talc 
Company began developing the Hewitt quarry for 
crushed stone and burned lime. The quarry has 
changed hands several times since 1908 but it has 
been in almost continuous production. Today, it is 
operated by the Nantahala Talc and Limestone 
Company, and is a large producer of crushed stone. 

Description of Workings 

Columbia Marble Company .—This company's main 
quarry and plant are located on the north side of 
U. S. Highway 19-129 and the Southern Railway, 
1.5 miles northeast of Marble, North Carolina. Since 
operations were started in 1931 some 10 quarries 
have been opened between Murphy and Coalville. 
Most of the quarries are located on the north side of 
U. S. Highway 19-129 between Marble and the pres- 
ent quarry. Two are on the southeast side of the 
Southern Railway about 3 miles northeast of Mur- 
phy. All of the quarries are from 100 to 200 feet in 
length and range from 40 to 90 feet in depth. In 
the summer of 1958, all but two of the quarries were 
inactive and filled with water. The main producing 
quarry is located on the west side of Welch Mill 
Creek, 2700 feet northeast of the finishing plant. Ap- 
proximately 80 percent of the Company's production 
is furnished from this quarry. It was opened in 1947 
and since has been in continuous operation. The 
quarry is about 120 feet long, 60 feet wide and 90 
feet deep, the long dimension being almost due east- 
west. The marble is overlain by about 10 feet of 
flood plain deposits and the upper few feet of bed 
rock are highly pitted by solution cavities. 

The marble is predominently a mottled or streaked 
light gray medium grained variety. The upper 8 to 
10 feet contain numerous bands of light pink and 
dark-gray marble. Mica is the predominent accessory 
mineral, particularly in the dark gray bands, but 
tremolite and pyrite are present in minor amounts. 
Joints that strike N 70° W and N 25° E are present, 
but are so spaced that they do not effect the strength 
of the marble or cause excessive waste. 

The other producing quarry is located on the south- 
east side of an unpaved county road approximately 
% mile southwest of Regal Station and 3 miles north- 
east of Murphy. Development work was started in 
1957 and in the summer of 1958 some of the first 



13 



sound blocks were being removed from the third 
level. Owing to large solution cavities, some up to 10 
feet high and 6 to 8 feet across the base, and joint- 
ing much of the first two levels (upper 9 feet) was 
waste. 

The quarry opening is approximately 60 feet wide 
and 120 feet long, the long dimension being north- 
east-southwest. The opening is situated at the base 
of a rather steep hill and overburden is in excess of 
20 feet in places. The marble is predominantly 
medium-grained, light to dark blue and mottled or 
streaked with thin bands of white marble. 

Located 0.2 mile southwest along the strike of the 
marble on the southeast side of the same road as 
the above quarry, is another Columbia Marble Com- 
pany quarry that was closed in 1957. Development 
work was started at this site in 1949 and it was work- 
ed intermittently for about 8 years. It is now filled 
with water and is in the process of being backfilled 
with the overburden stripped from the new quarry. 
Because of water and thick overburden the marble 
cannot be seen in the quarry walls, but there is a 
large dump on the southeast side. Most of that in 
the dump is the blue mottled variety which is now 
being quarried 0.2 mile northeast and which was 
quarried at the original Regal quarry. 

About 800 feet southwest of the quarry a rotary 
drilling rig was drilling exploratory holes for talc 
on the property of Mr. A. G. Thompson. At the time 
(June 1958) five holes had been drilled and each hole 
was about 200 feet deep. The marble was present in 
each hole under 35 to 80 feet of overburden and con- 
sisted of white, blue and gray varieties. 

The Columbia Marble Company uses quarry meth- 
ods and equipment in both of its operations that are 
more or less standard throughout the industry. The 
marble is laid out in blocks about 17 feet long and 
4 feet wide. A line of vertical holes 3 to 4 inches 
apart are drilled along the outside dimensions by 
wagon drills mounted on horizontal bars. An under- 
cut drill then drills a line of horizontal holes along 
the base of the block. After the drilling is completed, 
the blocks are wedged loose from the surrounding 
marble and broken into two smaller blocks about 
8 1 / 2 x 5 x 4 feet. The blocks are lifted from the quar- 
ry by a double drum hoist and carried to the finishing 
plant by truck. 

At the finishing plant, the blocks are loaded onto 
track mounted gang-cars and moved under the gang- 
saws. These saws are made up of a series of iron 
blades set parallel in a frame that moves backward 
and forward. Quartz sand and water are fed to the 
top of the blocks and as the blades drag the sand 



across it cuts the marble by abrasion. The thickness 
of the slabs cut is governed by the spacing of the 
blades, the minimum thickness being 1 inch. The 
saws cut at the rate of about 2 inches per hour and 
are run 24 hours per day. After the blocks are slab- 
bed, part of the slabs go to a guillotine rock breaker 
where they are broken into sections 4 inches wide. 
The length and thickness of the sections vary, but 
do not exceed about 3 feet and 6 to 8 inches respect- 
ively. These sections are used as a decorative veneer 
in the building trade and a 4 inch width is used so 
that they can be worked in with bricks. This veneer 
has been marketed for about 4 years and has become 
an important product. Some of the veneer is sold in 
North Carolina, but a large percentage of it is ship- 
ped to out of state markets. 

The slabs not used for veneer go to the mill where 
they are shaped into products that require cutting 
and polishing. The slabs are first sawed to prede- 
termined size by a circular diamond saw. The saw 
is mounted on a rack and pinion gear and the slabs 
rest on a mobile, hydrologically operated table. This 
permits the operator to change the position of the 
slab without disturbing it. After the slabs are cut 
to proper size they are placed on a large horizontal 
polishing wheel where they receive a rough polish. 
Carborundum wheels are then used to cut the slabs 
into the various desired shapes. Final polishing is 
done by polishing wheels and buffers. 

A majority of the marble finished in the mill is 
for monumental work but mantles, tabletops, floor- 
ing, and several other special products are made. 
Specialty work includes hand carved figures, mostly 
lambs and birds, and sand blasted inscriptions and 
decorative trim on headstones. When in demand, 
waste marble is crushed to size for terrazzo chips 
and poultry grit. 

Nantahala Talc and Limestone Company. — The 

plant and quarry are located on the northwest side 
of the Nantahala River at Hewitt, Swain County. 
Systematic quarrying was started here as early as 
1908 by the North Carolina Mining and Talc Company 
and except for a short period during World War I, 
the quarry has been in continuous operation. Early 
quarrying was done at three places along the west 
slope of Nantahala gorge some 300 to 400 feet above 
the railroad (Loughlin, et al. 1921, p. 44) . The three 
openings were connected with a lime kiln and crusher 
by a tramway. Production was mainly for crushed 
stone and burned lime, but in the late 1920's enough 
white and light-gray mottled marble was quarried 
to use as interior finish in the lobby of the Asheville 



14 



Hotel in Asheville (Stuckey and Fontaine, 1933, p. 
11). 

The marble occurs as a continuous outcrop along 
the steep west slopes above Nantahala River and 
according to Van Horn (1948, p. 11) is up to 350 
feet thick in the vicinity of Hewitt. At the quarry 
the formation strikes N 20° E and dips about 45°SE. 
It is quite variable in color, the beds exposed in the 
quarry face ranging from light gray to black and 
from dull white to grayish pink and pink. Most of 
the marble is very schistose, badly fractured and 
breaks into thin plates and narrow blocks. The planes 
of schistosity are frequently coated with a thin layer 
of serpentine. Besides serpentine other excessory 
minerals include talc, tremolite, pyrite and quartz. 
Talc occurs locally as thin stringers and lenses, some 
of which are quite large. Until a few years ago 
ground talc and talc crayons were a by-product of the 
quarry operation. 

The composition of the marble ranges from cal- 
cite marble to dolomite marble. In 1947 the Tennes- 
see Valley Authority in cooperation with the North 
Carolina Division of Mineral Resources conducted a 
sampling program at the Hewitt quarry and immedi- 
ate vicinity. The purpose of this investigation was 
to determine the quantity and occurrence of high 
calcium marble. Preliminary sampling indicated 
that marble containing up to 97.17 percent CaC0 3 
was present. However, the high calcium marble was 
interbedded with the dolomite marble in such a man- 
ner that the cost of separating the two would be 
prohibitive. 

Large scale development of the present quarry 
site was started in 1938-39. The quarry has been 
advanced into the mountain side and consequently 
the working face is practically a vertical wall with 
steep sloping sides. The face is approximately 200 
feet high at the apex and 300 to 350 feet wide at the 
base. As the quarry is situated above the water 
table drainage is not a problem. 

The rock is blasted from the face and trucked to 
the primary jaw crusher, which is located on the 
east side of the quarry floor. Final crushing and 
sizing are done by cone crushers and screens. Con- 
veyor belts move the crushed stone downhill to 
stockpiles which are located near the railroad. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1958 the quarry was operated 2 
shifts a day, five days a week. Production ranged 
from 500 to 750 tons per eight hour shift. 

Crushed stone is the principle product of this 
quarry and most of it is used by the State Highway 
Commission for highway construction and mainte- 
nance. Agricultural lime and terrazzo chips are also 



produced, terrazzo chips being the more important 
of the two. Within the past few years a secondary 
quarry has been opened just northeast of the main 
quarry in which selected beds with attractive colors 
are quarried exclusively for terrazzo chips. As men- 
tioned previously talc lenses exposed by the quarry 
operation were used for ground talc and sawed into 
crayons but none has been produced within the last 
few years. 

Reserves of marble suitable for the same type of 
products now marketed by the Nantahala Talc and 
Limestone Company appear to be unlimited. 

Culberson quarry. — This quarry is located 50 feet 
northwest of Trestle No. 15 on the northwest side 
of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 4500 feet 
northeast of the community of Culberson and 9 miles 
southwest of Murphy. This quarry was opened in 
1891-92 and was one of the first attempts to quarry 
the marble for dimension stone. Owing to excessive 
water and the badly fractured nature of the marble, 
the operation was unsuccessful and the quarry was 
abandoned after a few years (Watson and Laney, 
1906, p. 194). 

The only evidence of the quarry that remains today 
is a small pond approximately 100 feet in diameter 
and several large blocks of marble. Some of the 
blocks of marble project above the water in the 
middle of the pond and some are scattered along 
the edge of the pond next to the railroad. All of 
the visible blocks are very similar and consist of 
uniform medium grained, dark to medium bluish 
gray marble. Thin bands of graphite, up to .25 inch 
thick gives the marble a distinct layered appearance. 
The marble does not crop out anywhere near the 
quarry, but according to Watson and Laney (1906, 
p. 194) it is overlain by from 4 to 7 feet of over- 
burden. 

Kinsey quarry. — This quarry is located on the 
northwest side of the Louisville and Nashville Rail- 
road about 0.3 mile southwest of Comes Trestle 
(Trestle No. 20) and 5 miles southwest of Murphy. 
The quarry was named after the small community 
of Kinsey which was located a few hundred feet 
southwest of the quarry. Kinsey has long been aban- 
doned and the few houses and buildings which stood 
there have been torn down. 

The quarry was opened about 1891-92 and oper- 
ated until shortly after 1900 (Pratt, 1900, p. 22) . As 
was the case at Culberson, the marble was too badly 
fractured by joints to be suitable for dimension stone, 
but was well adopted for crushed stone and flux. 
Mr. J. M. Ledford (personal communication) reports 



15 



that most of the quarry production was shipped to 
Ducktown, Tennessee, and used by the Tennessee 
Copper Company for flux. 

By 1906 the quarry had been abandoned for several 
years and Watson and Laney (1906, p. 194) described 
the excavation as being about 100 feet long, 80 feet 
wide, 50 feet deep and extending almost to the rail- 
road. Piles of discarded marble were scattered 
around the opening and consisted mostly of a coarse- 
ly crystalline, dark blue gray, mottled marble. Also 
noted were lesser amounts of light-gray marble and 
some blocks of light gray interbedded with pink. 

Today the opening is badly slumped and over- 
grown with a dense cover of vegetation and is barely 
recognizable. The only rock that can be seen in place 
is a ledge about 4 feet thick of white, silicified marble 
that occurs near the top of the southeast wall. Sev- 
eral large blocks of light to medium gray marble are 
scattered around on the quarry floor. 

Southwest from the quarry for a distance of about 
1000 feet, between 25 and 30 exploratory drill holes 
were drilled for talc by Mr. J. M. Ledford about 
1954. Although no talc was found, considerable 
marble was cut in each hole and the cores from a 
number of the holes were scattered around through 
the woods. Most of the cores examined consisted of 
light to medium-gray marble, but white and blue 
mottled marble was also present. Tremolite crystals, 
some up to V 2 inch long, were quite common, par- 
ticularly in the light-gray marble. The majority of 
the holes were drilled on the southeast side of the 
railroad, which is at a higher elevation than the 
quarry and the marble was overlain by as much as 
60 feet of overburden. The deepest hole drilled was 
280 feet and the marble was not drilled through at 
that depth. 

Regal quarry. — This quarry is located on the south- 
east side of the Southern Railroad at Regal Station, 
about 3 miles northeast of Murphy. It was opened 
in 1902 by the National Marble Company and a small 
production was reported for 1903 and 1904. No pro- 
duction was reported again until 1907 when it was 
taken over by the Casparis Marble Company. This 
company produced steadily until 1913 when it was 
succeeded by the Regal Blue Marble Company. From 
1913 to 1926 the quarry was operated continuously 
and the marble produced gained a wide reputation as 
"Regal Blue Marble". It was shipped as far as Cali- 
fornia and used extensively as a building and monu- 
mental stone. The Cherokee County Courthouse in 
Murphy, North Carolina, was constructed from mar- 
ble from this quarry. After 1926 the quarry was 



abandoned, allowed to fill up with water and has 
remained inactive since that time. 

All that remains of the quarry today is a pond 
about 250 feet long and 50 to 60 feet wide. It is 
reported to be about 175 feet deep. A heavy growth 
of underbrush and trees have grown up around the 
edges of the pond and access is limited. Large blocks 
of marble are piled up around the edges, particularly 
on the southeast side, and appear to be identical 
with the marble which is presently being quarried 
% mile southwest. At the northeast end a large 
wall, the width of the quarry, was built out of waste 
blocks. This was done evidently to prevent a nearby 
stream from overflowing into the quarry. 

According to Watson and Laney (1906, pp. 195- 
197) and Loughlin. et. al. (1921, pp. 37-40) the mar- 
ble quarried was mainly of two kinds, predominently 
a dark bluish gray mottled variety and a light gray 
to white variety. Both varieties were medium grain- 
ed and had a slight schistose structure. Tremolite, 
pyrite and graphite were the chief accessory miner- 
als. The beds had a strike of about N 45° E and dip- 
ped about 50° SE. In the opening studied by Laney, 
there were three distinct sets of joints, the more 
prominent trending N 40° W and N 20° E. The joints 
ranged from a few inches to a few feet apart and 
caused considerable waste in the upper part of the 
quarry. As the quarry was deepened the joints be- 
came less prominent and caused less waste. Solution 
channels and small caves also caused waste in the 
upper 20 feet. 

The property on which the quarry is located is 
presently controlled by Mr. H. W. Alexander of the 
Appalachian Veneer Company, Regal, North Caro- 
lina. 

Red Marble Gap. — Northeast of Red Marble Gap 
the Murphy marble crops out along the steep slopes 
of the gorge some 300 feet above Rowlin Creek. One 
of the better outcrops in the area is located on the 
northwest side of the railroad tracks approximately 
2 miles northeast of Red Marble Gap. The area is 
rather inaccessible, but can be reached by traveling 
northeast from Red Marble Gap for 1.9 miles on 
U. S. Highway 19. At this point the highway crosses 
Rowlin Creek just a few hundred yards beyond Row- 
lin Creek Baptist Church. A roadside pull-off is on 
the northwest side of the road and an old trail that 
leads up the mountain side to the railroad tracks 
starts at this point. The marble crops out about 50 
feet above the railroad at the place the trail crosses 
the railroad tracks and beneath the Nantahala 
Power and Light Company transmission lines. 



,16 



The side of the mountain is covered with a heavy 
growth of vegetation, but the marble can be seen 
intermittently for 300 to 400 feet along strike. The 
strike is about N 25° E and the dip about 70° SE. 
The marble is mostly medium grained and varies 
from light gray to light pink. It has a distinct 
schistose structure and bands of serpentine, which 
lie parallel to the schistosity, are distributed irregu- 
larly. This combination of colors results in an un- 
usual and very attractive rock. 

A small amount of marble was quarried here many 
years ago as indicated by a small opening toward 
the northeast end of the outcrop. The old working 
face is about 15 feet high, slopes off gently on each 
side and is about 30 feet wide at the base. The floor 
of the opening is covered with slabs of waste marble. 

Another outcrop of marble very similar to the 
above occurs on the northwest side of U. S. Highway 
19, 1.0 mile northeast of Red Marble Gap. The out- 
crop is on a steep hill directly behind the Gibbons 
house. 

Peachtree-Brasstown area. — A second but much 
smaller belt of the Murphy marble occurs 5 to 6 miles 
east and southeast of the main belt. It begins in 
the vicinity of Peachtree and extends in a southwest- 
ward direction down Calhoun Branch, across the 
Hiwassee River and up Little Brasstown Creek to 
the vicinity of Martins Creek School (Keith, 1907) . 

Outcrops of the marble are rare and except for 
the geologic mapping by Keith (1907), very little 
detail work has been done on this belt. The few out- 
crops that can be seen are predominantly fine grain- 
ed, light bluish gray to dark gray banded marble. 
The thickness is unknown, but two water wells drilled 
near Brasstown cut about 67 and 50 feet of marble. 
Both wells were about 100 feet deep and were still 
in marble when drilling was stopped (Mr. F. O. 
Scrogges, personal communication) . 

Owing mainly to the fact that the belt is not 
serviced by rail transportation, no recorded attempts 
have been made to quarry the marble on a commercial 
basis. However, there are several places where small 
amounts of marble were quarried and burned, or 
crushed, for agricultural lime for local consumption. 
Four such places are: (1) behind Martins Creek 
School on the west side of the creek, (2) from a bluff 
near the headwaters of Little Brasstown Creek 
(Whitmire Hertford Farm), (3) from a farm 1.3 
miles northeast of Brasstown near the Hiwassee 
River and (4) near Peachtree School on Peachtree 
Creek. According to Mr. F. O. Scrogges (personal 
communication) these localities were last worked 
about 1935. The work was done by local residents in 



an attempt to produce agricultural lime for local 
farms. 

Most of these old workings have been back-filled 
and could not be examined. However, the outcrop on 
the Whitmire Hertford farm (Locality 2) occurs in 
a bluff above the creek and is one of the few reason- 
ably good exposures in the area. The outcrop, which 
is about 10 feet high and 15 feet long, stands about 
15 feet above creek level and is overlain by 10 feet 
of red clay. The marble is fine grained and light 
bluish gray to gray. It strikes N 40° E and dips 50° 
SE. Several sets of joints are present, the most 
prominent strikes N 40° W. 

This is the site of a small quarry and lime kiln 
which was worked intermittently from about 1890 
to 1935 (Mr. E. L. Arrant, personal communication) . 
As most of the quarrying was done by hand methods 
it appears that only a few tons of rock have been 
removed from the outcrop. Directly below the quar- 
ry are the remains of the last lime kiln that was used 
on the property. 

Macon County 

Northeast of the Murphy belt in the northeast 
corner of Macon County are the only other known 
deposits of marble in this section of the State. The 
deposits were briefly described by Watson and Laney 
(1906, p. 208-209) as follows: "In Macon County, 
near the headwaters of Ellijay Creek, near Cullow- 
hee Gap, limestone has been burned to lime for build- 
ing and fertilizing purposes on the property of John 
Bryson. About one-half mile west of the gap is the 
Hashett lime quarry that was worked quite exten- 
sively some years ago". 

During the present investigation two marble de- 
posits were located in this area, but their locations 
do not conform too closely with the above description. 
According to local residents the Hashett lime quarry 
is located about a mile south of Cullowhee Gap on 
Bryson Branch, a tributary to Ellijay Creek. This 
deposit was not seen, but it is reported to be next 
to the creek and about 100 feet upstream from an 
abandoned pegmatite mine. The other deposit is 
located 2.0 miles southwest of Cullowhee Gap. It is 
referred to by local residents as the Dill lime kiln 
and is on the property of Mr. Lee Dill. 

Dill lime kiln. — The Dill deposit can be easily 
reached from either Franklin or Cullowhee. It is on 
the northwest side of an unpaved county road, 0.25 
mile west of the Ellijay Creek road. The county road 
intersects the Ellijay Creek road 8.4 miles northeast 
of U. S. Highway 64 and 9.0 miles southwest of Cul- 



17 



lowhee. A few disconnected lenses and pods of mar- 
ble are exposed in the roadcut, but the main outcrops 
are located at the old quarry site on the nose of the 
hill about 50 feet above the road. The largest out- 
crop stands about 10 feet high and 5 feet wide. It 
strikes N 30° E, dips about 70° NW and consists 
mostly of white, coarsely crystalline marble. Grain 
size ranges from 0.5 to 3 mm. with a few calcite 
crystals up to 5 mm. Excessory minerals dissemi- 
nated through the marble include biotite, garnet, 
quartz, amphibole (tremolite ? ), epidote and graph- 
ite. The graphite occurs as small foliated masses 
and as tabular hexangonal crystals. The latter form 
is very rare, this being the only place where it has 
been reported in North Carolina. Two other outcrops 
are present nearby. One is about 15 feet across 
strike to the east and the other is about 30 feet to 
the southwest. Both of these outcrops are smaller 
than the one just described, but for all practical 
purposes are identical in character. 

The marble is composed predominantly of coarse 
crystals of calcite with very little cementing mater- 
ial. Consequently, the calcite crystals weather out 
before they are dissolved by chemical action. This 
produces a rough, granular surface on the outcrop. 
The outer few inches of the marble are so deeply 
weathered and badly stained by iron oxide that it is 
difficult to obtain a representative sample with only 
a hammer and chisel. 

As revealed in the roadcut exposures, the marble 
is intimately associated with gneissic rocks that 
have been injected with granitic solutions and badly 
folded and possibly faulted. On the Geologic Map 
of North Carolina (1958), the area in which these 
rocks occur falls into the Precambrian (?) gneiss 
unit which would in this case correspond to the 
"Carolina gneiss", as denned by Keith (1903, p. 2). 

Owing to the deep soil cover and heavy growth of 
timber which covers the hillside, the marble could 
not be traced for any distance along strike. Con- 
sequently, no estimate could be made as to the quan- 
tity of marble present in this deposit. However, 
from the surface exposures it is doubtful if a ton- 
nage of any significance is present.. 

Jackson County 

Caney Fork deposit. — An impure crystalline lime- 
stone, or marble is reported to occur at Caney Fork, 
Jackson County (Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 71), but 
it was not visited during the present investigation. 

On the 1957 edition of the State Highway Com- 
mission's map of Jackson County, there is no place 
specifically referred to as Caney Fork. However, 

18 



Caney Fork Creek is a major stream that heads-up 
in eastern Jackson County, flows west and joins the 
Tuckaseigee River southeast of Cullowhee at East 
Laport. It is assumed that the marble deposit is 
located along this creek or one of its tributaries. 

A partial chemical analysis of the marble (Lough- 
lin, et. al., 1921, p. 151) shows 16.45 percent Si0 2 , 
9.86 percent A1 2 3 and Fe 2 3 , 71.27 percent CaC0 3 
and 0.52 percent MgC0 3 . This deposit has not been 
previously described and its size and geologic rela- 
tionships are unknown, but it is probably very simi- 
lar to the deposit on Ellijay Creek in Macon County. 

Hot Springs Area — Madison County 
General Statement 

The Hot Springs area lies in the rugged mountain- 
ous terrain of western Madison County near the 
North Carolina-Tennessee border. Hot Springs, the 
only town in the area west of Marshall, is situated 
on the French Broad River and lies about 40 miles 
northwest of Asheville. 

The French Broad River traverses the area in a 
northwesterly direction. The Southern Railway and 
U. S. Highway 70-25 closely follows the river. Num- 
erous paved and unpaved state maintained roads 
make most of the area reasonably accessible. The 
following topographic maps on a scale of 1:24,000 
cover the area : 

Paint Rock (TVA 1940), Hot Springs (TVA 1940), 
White Rock (TVA 1939), Marshall (TVA 1945), 
Lemon Gap (TVA 1940) and Spring Creek (TVA 
1946) . These maps can be purchased from the Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee, or 
the United States Geological Survey, Washington 
25, D. C. 

Lime Bearing Rocks of the Area 

Four types of lime bearing rocks occur within the 
area. These are: (1) marble lenses in Precambrian 
gneisses and schists, (2) lenticular limestone beds 
in the Sandsuck formation, (3) the Shady dolomite, 
and (4) the Honaker limestone. 

Marble lenses in Precambrian gneisses and schists. 

— The area around Marshall is underlain by a series 
of gneisses and schists which Keith (1904) mapped 
as Carolina gneiss. The unit consists mostly of light 
and dark gray mica gneisses and mica schists with 
varying amounts of hornblende schist. The enclosed 
lenses of marble which occur in the vicinity of Mar- 
shall were described by Keith (1907) as follows: 



"Associated with the gneiss, but forming an un- 
usual exception to it in character, is a group of mar- 
ble beds. Two of these are found in Marshall and 
five are two miles west and northwest of Marshall, 
four of these lying in a nearly straight line south- 
ward from French Broad River. Outcrops of the 
marble are found only in or near the streams, on 
account of the soluble nature of the rock. At first 
they seem to be different outcrops of a continuous 
bed, but it is doubtful if this is the case because at 
a few intervening points the marble is plainly absent. 
It is probable, therefore, that the marble deposits are 
of lenticular shape. Considerable differences in thick- 
ness can be observed, even in the small exposures 
near the streams, but these may be due to the ex- 
treme folding that all of the rocks of the region have 
undergone. The maximum thickness observed was 
on Walnut Creek northwest of Marshall, where the 
outcropping beds are 60 feet thick, with a possibility 
of as much more concealed. About 200 feet farther 
north the entire section was occupied by gneisses. 
South of French Broad River, the thickness observed 
ranged from 10 to 35 feet. The thickness shown in 
Marshall have about the same variations. 

The marble is fine grained and is usually white. 
It contains 84 percent of carbonate of calcium, 2 per- 
cent of carbonate of magnesium, and 13 percent of 
silica. Many portions have a somewhat greenish 
color, due to tremolite, which forms many small 
prisms and stubby crystals. Other variations of 
color are due to small knots of epidote, tremolite and 
calcite and to lenses of fine quartz and hornblende. 
These seem to be in the nature of secondary segrega- 
tions and are of frequent occurrence throughout all 
the marble beds. The most important variation in 
the marble is seen in the series of thin lenses and 
sheets of silica that it contains. These are seldom 
over 2 inches in thickness and are composed of ex- 
tremely fine-grained quartz. They appear to repre- 
sent original sedimentary bands, replaced by silica 
and have been extremely contorted and folded like 
the adjoning gneisses. The value of the marble for 
building stone is much injured by these various im- 
purities. A few seams of mica-schist found in the 
marble contain the same minerals and are metamor- 
phosed to the same degree as the adjoining Carolina 
gneiss. There is, therefore, little doubt that the mar- 
bles are of substantially the same age as the gneiss. 
The gneiss is cut by Cranberry granite at many 
points within a few feet of the marble, but the gran- 
ite does not touch the marble at any point". 

An attempt was made to locate the marble lenses 
described by Keith as occurring about two miles west 



and northwest of Marshall. Those reported to lie 
southward from the French Broad River could not 
be found but the one on Walnut Creek 2 miles north- 
west of Marshall was found. This deposit lies on the 
south side of Walnut Creek about 100 feet east of 
where Sweet Water road crosses Walnut Creek and 
0.3 mile west of Dry Branch Church. The marble is 
massive fine grained and varies from white to light 
green. Mr. Hubert Dill reports that about five years 
ago a private company attempted to quarry the mar- 
ble for crushed stone but only about 100 tons of 
rock was crushed. When the operation was started 
the marble stood as loose blocks in the face of a cliff 
about 60 feet high on the south side of the creek. 
After the blocks were blasted down there was no 
more marble present in the cliff and the operation 
was abandoned. A number of loose blocks are now 
scattered along the creek for about 100 feet. 

Lenticular limestone beds in the Sandsuck forma- 
tion. — The Sandsuck formation is the upper member 
of the Ocoee Series of Upper Precambrian age. It is 
of limited extent in North Carolina, most of that 
present occupying an irregular area northeast of 
Hot Springs along the northwest edge of the county 
(Geologic Map of North Carolina, 1958). Keith 
(1904) originally mapped these rocks as Hiwassee 
slate, but subsequent work, by Ferguson and Jewell 
(1951) and Oriel (1950) has shown that Keith used 
the name Hiwassee slate for approximately the same 
rocks he had mapped in Tennessee as Sandsuck shale. 
Since the name Sandsuck shale has priority over 
Hiwassee slate, the latter term has not been used by 
recent workers. 

According to Oriel (1950, p. 24) in the Hot Springs 
area the formation is about 700 feet thick. It is 
composed mostly of dark green to black, silty and 
argillaceous shale and slate. Coarse conglomerate 
lentils are interbedded with the shale near the top 
of the formation and light gray to blue gray calcare- 
ous sandstones, sandy limestone, and thin-bedded 
quartzite occur in the lower half of the formation. 

The calcareous sandstones and sandy limestones 
occur as lenticular layers interbedded with the slates. 
The limestone varies considerably in short distances, 
but the most common variety is a blue or dove- 
colored limestone containing abundant grains of 
quartz sand. In some places the siliceous material 
increases to the point where the rock becomes a 
calcareous conglomerate containing pebbles of quartz 
and feldspar. 

There are a number of outcrops of the limestone 
in the area, but the most accessible are located along 
Franklin Mountain Road, an unpaved county road 



19 



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that connects State Highway 208 with State Highway 
212. One outcrop occurs on the north side of Franklin 
Mountain road, 1.5 miles west of State Highway 212 
on the property of Mr. Troy Rice. Here the lime- 
stone strikes N 35° E, dips 50° SE and is about 85 
feet thick. It is mostly light blue gray to dark blue 
gray, medium bedded and fine grained. It contains 
thin stringers of calcite, small cubes of pyrite and 
a few scattered quartz grains. Another outcrop is 
present 0.3 mile northeast of the Rice house on the 
east side of the road. This limestone is in general 
quite similar to the above but contains argillaceous 
and sandy beds. 

The most extensive outcrop of the limestone seen 
in the area occurs on the property of a Mr. Franklin, 
whose house is located on the north side of Franklin 
Mountain road 0.45 mile west of its intersection with 
State Highway 212. The limestone is present in the 
face of a steep hill about 200 yards behind Mr. Frank- 
lin's house. Here the limestone strikes N 15° E, 
dips about 60° SE and is well over 100 feet thick. It 
is for the most part light to medium blue gray and 
contains abundant pebbles and cobbles of shale and 
sandstone along bedding planes. Agillaceous beds and 
beds containing abundant quartz sand grains, many 
over 1 mm in diameter, are quite common. It is re- 
ported by Mr. Franklin that an attempt was made 
several years ago to crush the limestone but the 
operation was abandoned because of the hardness of 
the limestone. 

There is evidently a large tonnage of limestone 
available which is well situated for quarrying. How- 
ever, its high silica content and poor location in re- 
gard to transportation and markets eliminates it 
from any foreseeable development. 

Shady dolomite. — The Shady dolomite is the oldest 
(Lower Cambrian) of the thick carbonate deposits 
of the Paleozoic section in the Appalachians. It is 
widely distributed in northeastern Tennessee, but is 
of very limited extent in North Carolina. In the Hot 
Springs area it, along with other Cambrian rocks, 
rocks of the Ocoee series and Precambrian crystalline 
rocks are involved in one of the most complicated 
and unusual structural units found in the Southern 
Appalachians, the Hot Springs window. 

Within the Hot Springs window the Shady dolo- 
mite forms an elongate belt about 6 miles long and 
from 1500 to 4000 feet wide, the long dimension be- 
ing east-west. The eastern edge of the belt begins a 
short distance on the east side of the French Broad 
River at Hot Springs. It extends almost due west to 
just beyond the North Carolina-Tennessee border. 



The belt is terminated at each end by the Mine Ridge 
thrust fault (Oriel, 1950, Plate 1). 

The formation consists predominantly of blue 
gray, light gray, and white dolomite with a minor 
amount of interbedded limestone. In northeastern 
Tennessee in the area of the type section King, et. al. 
(1944, p. 16-27) made a detail study of the Shady 
dolomite and divided the formation into several 
distinct members. Within the Hot Springs window, 
Oriel (1950, p. 9-10) was able to recognize essentially 
these same rock types and his generalized section of 
the Shady dolomite is as follows : 

"Maroon shales of the Rome formation above. 
Shady Dolomite : 

(6) Upper blue member: Blue-gray to black, medium 
to thick-bedded and massive dolomite; interbedded 
light gray dolomite common; includes some silty 
and shady beds near the middle. Some irregular 
blebs and nodules of light-to medium-gray chert 
are present. Very well displayed in the two quar- 
ries along the railroad track on west bank of 
French Broad River and on the undercut bank 
opposite the town of Hot Springs. 
Approximately 650 

(5) Upper white member: Bluff-colored to white to 
light gray dolomite. Very finely crystalline near 
base and near top, but middle part is quite sac- 
charoidol. Well exposed in Spring Creek near 
hotel and south of quarries on railroad track on 
west bank of French Broad. 
Approximately 600 

(4) Middle blue member: Blue-gray to black, medium 
to thick-bedded somewhat silty dolomite. Includes 
some beds of white to buff-colored coarsely crystal- 
line dolomite. Very well exposed at the old quarry 
on the east bank of the French Broad just north 
of Highway 25-70. 
Approximately 250 

(3) Ribboned member: Medium to coarsely crystalline 
light gray to buff-colored dolomite in thick layers 
interbedded with fine-grained blue-gray to black 
dolomite. Some ribboned limestone is present in 
this member. Best exposed along lower Spring- 
Creek and in south quarry on east side of river. 
Approximately 300 

(2) Lower blue member: Light to dark blue-gray, 
black, generally thick-bedded to massive dolomite; 
includes some light gray and blue-gray dolomite 
near base. Best exposed in road cuts on U. S. 
Highway 25-70 on east side of French Broad River 
bridge and along Spring Creek. 
Approximately , 150 

(1) Basal ribboned member: Thinly interbedded white 
and light gray, very fine-grained dolomite. Poor 
exposures make determination of thickness diffi- 



21 



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LEGEND 
1 ■'"■ 1 Ce SHADY DOLONflTE 



€hk HONAKER LIMESTONE 



MAP SHOWING 
figure e. OUTCROP AREA OF SHADY DOLOMITE AND HONAKER LIMESTONE 

IN MADISON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA 



22 



cult. Outcrops on north side of Camp Grounds 
road, 700 feet east of French Broad River. 
Approximately 25 (?) 

Helenmode member of Erwin formation below 

Total thickness of Shady dolomite 

Approximately 1975" 

This section was not measured directly, but was 
calculated from a series of discontinuous outcrops. 
The total thickness of 1975 feet is therefore probably 
somewhat greater than the true thickness. 

Owing to the soluble nature of the dolomite, out- 
crops of fresh rock are relatively rare. The best ex- 
posures occur along the northeast and southwest 
river bluffs in the vicinity of Hot Springs where the 
French Broad River has cut across the strike of the 
formation. 

Honaker limestone. — The Honaker limestone oc- 
curs as a single, elongated patch about 4000 feet long 
and 1500 feet wide. It is located 3 miles northwest 
of Hot Springs between U. S. Highway 25-70 and 
the French Broad River. This formation was origi- 
nally mapped by Keith (1904) as part of the Shady 
dolomite, but Oriel (1950, p. 8) correlated it with 
the Honaker limestone (Middle Cambrian) of north- 
eastern Tennessee and western Virginia. 

The overburden is thin and there are many good 
exposures along both sides of Mine Hollow, an east 
flowing tributary to Shut-in Creek ; however, the best 
exposures are in and along the south slope of Mine 
Hollow. The limestone has a gentle dip and a section 
about 100 feet thick is exposed. It is predominantly 
a dense, very fine-grained, dark bluish-gray lime- 
stone. Individual beds vary from 1 to 3 feet thick, 
but faint laminae are present on some weathered 
surfaces. 

About 200 yards up Mine Hollow from its conflu- 
ence with Shut-in Creek, on the south side of the 
creek, are the remains of an old lime kiln and a 
large dump of limestone blocks. When this kiln was 
active is unknown, but it was probably worked prior 
to 1900 for local use. 

Only limited chemical analyses are available but 
indications are that the limestone contains upwards 
of 80 percent CaC0 3 and about 10 to 12 percent 
MgC0 3 . Whether or not these percentages of CaC0 3 
and MgC0 3 are representative of the entire section 
can be determined only by more extensive sampling. 

The south slope of Mine Hollow is one of the best 
undeveloped limestone quarry sites in the State. The 
limestone is about 100 feet thick and stands well 
above the creek valley. The gentle dip of the beds 



would make for easy development of benches and 
transportation facilities are close by. The Southern 
Railway is one mile north by an unpaved county road 
and U. S. Highway 25-70 is only 0.3 mile south. The 
most serious drawback for the development of a 
quarry at this site is its poor location with regard 
to markets. It is in a remote section of the State 
and unless a demand for a product for which this 
limestone is suited should develop close by, it will 
probably remain unexploited. 

Description of Workings 

G. C. Buquo Lime Company. — Of the four types of 
lime bearing rocks in the Hot Springs area, the only 
one that has been of more than local interest is the 
Shady dolomite. From 1912 to the early 1930's the 
G. C. Buquo Lime Company operated two quarries 
about % mile northwest of Hot Springs on the south- 
west side of the French Broad River adjacent to the 
Southern Railway. At this point the dolomite is 
prominently exposed in bluffs more than 75 feet 
high for about 1200 feet along the river. 

The rock exposed in the now abandoned quarries 
is chiefly the upper blue member of the Shady dolo- 
mite (Oriel, 1950, p. 53) . It is fine grained and varies 
from light gray to dark bluish gray, but the dark 
bluish gray variety predominates. Beds strike east- 
west, dip about 75° north and range from a few 
inches to about 3 feet in thickness. Some of the beds 
are separated by a thin layer of reddish shale. Joint- 
ing is conspicuous in places, but the lack of consistant 
horizontal fractures is said to have made it difficult 
to maintain benches during the time the quarry was 
in operation (Loughlin, et. al. 1921, p. 52). The com- 
position of the dolomite is fairly uniform and aver- 
ages about 54 percent CaC0 3 and 41 percent MgC0 3 . 
Si0 2 (mainly quartz) averages about 4 percent and 
the remaining plus or minus one percent consist 
mostly of small grains of feldspar, sericite, tremo- 
lite, pyrite and apatite. 

Most of the rock quarried was finely ground and 
used for agricultural lime; however, some was used 
for road metal. The grinding plant was located just 
north of the quarry and the rock was transported to 
the plant over a short inclined track on cars operated 
by cable. The plant had a capacity of 20 tons per 
hour and it was estimated that at that capacity the 
company had sufficient reserves to last for about 
200 years (Loughlin, et. al. 1921, p. 52). This would 
amount to over 10 million tons, much of which is still 
in place. After the quarry was closed the plant was 
torn down and all that remains today is part of the 
foundation. 



23 





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As stated above, there is a large tonnage of dolo- 
mite still available at this site. Should the need 
arise the quarry could be reopened very easily, but 
ordinary bench type development would be restricted 
because of the proximity of U. S. Highway 25-70. 

Other properties. — The Shady dolomite is well ex- 
posed in bluffs for about 2000 feet along the east side 
of the French Broad River beginning just north of 
the highway bridge at Hot Springs. The dolomite 
here is fine-grained, predominantly medium to dark 
blue gray and is part of the middle blue member of 
the Shady dolomite (Oriel, 1950, p. 53) . 

About 0.10 mile north on U. S. Highway 25-70 a 
small quarry was opened in these exposures on the 
east side of the river. The quarry has been aban- 
doned for sometime and there are no records avail- 
able that indicate when the quarry was operated and 
for what purpose. 

The dolomite has practically the same chemical 
composition as that at the Buquo quarries and there 
are a number of places where large reserves could 
be easily developed. The chief disadvantage to a 
quarry on this side of the river is that if the railroad 
facilities were to be used the stone would have to be 
hauled for about one half mile. 

Brevard Belt 
General Statement 

The Brevard belt is a narrow belt of metamor- 
phosed sedimentary rocks which enters North Caro- 
lina in Transylvania County and passes northeast- 
ward through Henderson and Buncombe Counties 
(Geologic Map of North Carolina, 1958). Keith 
(1905, 1907) mapped the belt in North Carolina and 
showed it as fingering out into the "Carolina gneiss" 
in the vicinity of Graphite ; however, it may continue 
for some distance northeastward (King, 1955, p. 
357). To the southwest the belt follows a straight 
and persistant course through South Carolina, Geor- 
gia and into Alabama, where it passes beneath the 
Coastal Plain sediments. 

In North Carolina the rocks of the belt have not 
been subdivided into formations and it is referred 
to as the Brevard schist (Keith, 1905, p. 5) . As im- 
plied by the name the formation is composed mostly 
of schist. The scist is always dark colored, varying 
from bluish black and dark gray to black. It is fine 
grained and composed mostly of muscovite, quartz 
and iron oxide. Graphite is commonly disseminated 
through large masses of the schist and in some layers 
is concentrated to the extent that the rock becomes 
a graphite schist. Small garnet crystals are also 



commonly disseminated through the schist (Keith, 
1907, p. 4) . Thin quartzite beds, phyllites and mar- 
ble are also present, but form a minor part of the 
formation. 

The Brevard belt is bordered on the northwest 
and southeast by different rock types. On the north- 
west side the contact is gradational with the "Caro- 
lina gneiss" and no sharp boundary can be drawn. 
However, on the southeast there is an abrupt con- 
tact between the Brevard schist and the Henderson 
granite gneiss, and for this reason it is possible that 
the southeast contact is along a fault (Ingle, 1947, 
P. 1). 

Marble in the Brevard Schist 

Marble, or recrystallized limestone, is known to 
occur in the Brevard schist from Buncombe County, 
North Carolina, through South Carolina and into 
Georgia. The deposits in North Carolina begin just 
southwest of Rosman and occur intermittently over 
a distance of about 30 miles to a few miles northeast 
of Fletcher. The marble underlies relatively large 
areas, but because of its soluble nature outcrops are 
very rare. In most cases it is present in creek valleys 
and is overlain by 2 to as much as 30 feet of over- 
burden. Keith (1907, p. 4) interpreted the marble 
as occuring as disconnected lenses interbedded with 
the schist. However, Ingle (1947, p. 4) mapped the 
area from Fletcher to Fairview and concluded that 
the marble is more extensive than previously thought 
and that it may be a more or less continuous marble 
horizon rather than lenses. The writer concurs with 
this idea, but only core drilling along strike will 
prove this. 

Most of the marble is white and finely crystalline, 
but it contains beds of light and dark blue marble. 
Zones of quartzite and chlorite-sercite schist, which 
may contain some serpentine, are present in the 
quarries southwest of Fletcher, but the marble is 
for the most part pure and contains few impurities. 
The composition ranges from almost pure calcium 
carbonate to nearly theoretical dolomite. The eastern 
half of the Blue Ridge Lime Company quarry (now 
the Fletcher Limestone Company) was reported 
(Loughlin, et. al. 1921, p. 68) to be high calcium 
marble, whereas the western half was dolomitic. 
Whether this is a local relationship or is generally 
true of all the deposits is unknown. 

Locally the strike varies considerably, but aver- 
ages about N 45° E. The dip is to the southeast be- 
tween 35° and 85°. In the deposits southwest of 
Fletcher the marble reaches its known maximum 
thickness of about 250 feet. The quarries at the 



25 



head of Boylston Creek showed about 50 feet of 
marble (Keith, 1907, p. 4). Northeast of Fletcher 
the marble evidently thins out because the last 
known occurrence is 5 miles northeast of Fletcher 
on Gravel Creek, a tributary to Cane Creek. North- 
east of this point the last evidence of any carbonate 
beds in the Brevard schist is a 2 foot bed of calcare- 
ous quartzite. The rock is exposed in a road cut on 
the northwest side of the paved county road between 
Fletcher and Fairview, 1 mile southwest of Fair- 
view. This outcrop is next to Cane Creek, in strike 
with the marble to the southwest, and may represent 
a sandy facies of the marble. 

History of Production 

Marble beds in the Brevard schist have been uti- 
lized for well over 100 years. Prior to 1900 a number 
of small quarries were opened and worked inter- 
mittently over a period of years in Transylvania, 
Henderson and Buncombe Counties. These early 
quarries were small scale operations and all of the 
production was consumed locally. Lime for fertilizer 
and building purposes was the principle product. The 
marble, or "limestone", was burned in small beehive 
type kilns. Although these kilns have not been used 
for many years the remains of a few of them can still 
be seen. The lime obtained from these kilns was 
evidently of excellent quality, because a structure in 
which it was used as mortar was in almost perfect 
condition after having stood for over 60 years (Wat- 
son and Laney, 1906, p. 208). 

In 1904 the first quarry was opened to produce 
lime on a commercial scale. The Blue Ridge Lime 
Company began operations on the Westfeldt property 
west of Fletcher near the old Lance quarry. Initial 
kiln capacity was 700 bushels per day, but this was 
doubled during the second year of production (Pratt, 
1907, p. 63) . This company was in continuous opera- 
tion from 1904 until about 1936. Lime was the prin- 
ciple product for many years, but crushed stone was 
also produced during the latter years of operation. 

Sometime between 1908 and 1910 the King Lime 
Fertilizer Company of Brevard was organized to 
develop several of the deposits in Transylvania and 
Henderson Counties. The company had an ambitious 
plan to lay some 3 miles of track which would con- 
nect the quarries with a large crushing plant, six 
coal burning kilns and the railroad (Pratt, 1911, p. 
115). For reasons unknown these plans did not ma- 
terialize and no production was ever reported from 
this company. 

During the period of 1929 to 1936 three companies 
worked the deposit west and southwest of Fletcher ; 



The B & C Lime and Stone Company, the Blue Ridge 
Lime and Stone Company and the Fletcher Limestone 
Company. The B & C Lime and Stone Company was 
active from 1926 until 1936. Its quarry was located 
about 1000 feet southwest of the Blue Ridge Lime 
and Stone Company. The Fletcher Limestone Com- 
pany took over the property formerly worked by the 
Blue Ridge Lime and Stone Company about 1936 
and it has been in continuous operation since that 
time. 

The Cogdill Limestone Company opened a quarry 
about 3500 feet southwest of the Fletcher quarry 
shortly after World War II and it too has been in 
continuous operation since that time. 

Description of Workings 
Transylvania County 

Bear Wallow Creek. — A siliceous marble occurs 
on Bear Wallow Creek about six miles southwest of 
Rosman. This deposit was not visited during the 
present investigation but was described briefly by 
Watson and Laney (1906, p. 208) as outcropping 
prominently in the creek and on both sides in ridges 
that rise about 150 feet above the creek. The rock 
forms Limestone Ridge which is about 0.30 mile 
above the junction of Bear Wallow Creek with Tox- 
away River. 

Prior to 1900 the marble was worked for a number 
of years and burned to lime for local use as building 
lime and fertilizer. The deposit is situated in a very 
inaccessible area and has not been worked for over 
50 years. 

Two other deposits occur near Rosman. One is 
located 1.5 miles northwest of Rosman on the North 
Fork French Broad River near the confluence of 
Diamond Creek. The other is located about 2.5 miles 
southwest of Rosman. Neither of these deposits 
were visited and there is no information available 
as to their extent or character. 

Curitan (Simms) quarry. — These abandoned work- 
ings are located on the southeast side of State High- 
way 280 at Little Mountain Gap, 2.0 miles northeast 
of the intersection of this highway with U. S. High- 
way 64-276. An abandoned unpaved road joins the 
highway at about the crest of the gap and the work- 
ings are about 200 yards up this road. 

It was reported (Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 71) 
that this deposit was worked in at least four places. 
However, the quarries have been abandoned for many 
years and the faces are now completely covered by 
soil moving down the steep slopes above the quarries. 
No outcrops of marble can be seen at present. The 



26 



openings are located on the northwest slope of a 
broad northeast trending ridge. The marble dips 
steeply to the southeast, or into the ridge, and the 
overburden is quite thick. This deposit was last 
worked in 1934 by a Mr. Simms and loose material 
sliding into the quarry from above was a great 
hindrance to the operation, finally causing its suspen- 
sion (Ingle, 1947, p. 2) . 

The marble is dark blue and dolomitic. Much of it 
is stained yellow and brown along mud seams, joints 
and small tight fractures (Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 
71). There is evidently a large tonnage of rock pres- 
ent in this deposit, but the overburden is so thick 
that open pit quarrying would probably not be prac- 
tical. 

J. W. McQuire property (Barnard quarry). — This 
quarry is located 0.2 mile southeast of State High- 
way 280, 4.1 miles northeast of the intersection of 
this highway with U. S. Highway 64-276, 0.80 mile 
southwest of the Henderson-Transylvania County 
line. The quarry site is reached by turning southeast 
onto a dirt farm road which dead ends at a house. 
The old workings are located about 100 feet north- 
east of the house. 

This is the site of one of the oldest "limestone" 
quarries and kilns in the area and is referred to 
locally as the Barnard quarry. Rock was quarried 
here and burned into lime prior to the War Between 
the States and for many years after. However, no 
work has been done for a long time and the excava- 
tion is covered by slump material and a heavy growth 
of vegetation. Ingle (1947, p. 3) considered this to 
be one of the best potential quarry sites in the area — 
citing light over-burden, thick bedding, moderate dip, 
light blue color and sufficient elevation to avoid 
water problems as favorable factors. He also reports 
that the State Highway Commission drilled 16 feet 
below the quarry floor and found good "limestone" 
all the way. 

Henderson County 

Woodfin, Allison and Ezell quarries. — About 1.5 
miles northeast of the Henderson-Transylvania Coun- 
ty line, on the flood plain of a southeast flowing tribu- 
tary to Boylston Creek, and on the northwest side of 
the State Highway 280, is the site of the old Allison 
quarry and kiln. The quarry has been abandoned for 
many years and the marble cannot be seen in place 
because alluvial material covers the whole locality. 
This quarry and two others which are located nearby 
were described by Watson and Laney (1906, p. 208) 
as follows: 



"In Henderson County quite a large body of lime- 
stone occurs 7 to 10 miles west of Hendersonville, the 
county-seat, in the vicinity of Boilston. The lime- 
stone outcrops at intervals from about 3 to 5 miles 
northeast of Boilston to some distance above Bre- 
vard, the county-seat of Translyvania County. It is 
capped in many places by a schistose rock and is dip- 
ping approximately 45° SE. On the land of Mr. J. F. 
Woodfin, about % of a mile a little east of south of 
the Boilston gold mine, limestone has been worked 
for a little over 200 feet along the strike. The lime- 
stone apparently contains very little grit and is of a 
bluish tinge known locally as "blue limestone". Con- 
siderable of this limestone has been burned to lime, 
some of which has been used for fertilizing purposes 
On the W. B. Allison farm, three-eights of a mile 
due west of the Woodfin quarry the limestone is 
whiter in color and is known locally as "white lime- 
stone", to distinguish it from the "blue limestone" of 
the Woodfin quarry. A similar quarry has been open- 
ed on Bryson Ezell's farm 3 miles northeast of Alli- 
son's. Considerable of the lime burned from this 
limestone has been used for building purposes." 

In connection with these quarries it is significant 
to note the following observations: (1) they are all 
located on the flood plain of either Boylston Creek or 
one of its tributaries, (2) Boylston Creek flows from 
southwest to northeast, which is also the direction of 
the strike of the marble, and (3) the dip of the mar- 
ble apparently changes from steep at the Curitan 
property to moderate at the Barnard quarry. In view 
of what is known about the geologic conditions in the 
Murphy belt, these factors strongly suggest that the 
flood plain of Boylston Creek is underlain with mar- 
ble from just northeast of the Barnard quarry to 
possibly as far northeast as the old Ezell quarry or 
beyond. 

Owing to the flood plain deposits which completely 
cover the bed rock, the only way this could be proved 
or disproved is by drilling. However, if the valley of 
Boylston Creek is underlain by marble, as believed, 
then this would represent a body of marble about 4 
miles long and up to half a mile wide. The thickness 
of the marble is unknown in this area, but 100 feet, 
more or less, would not be unexpected. 

Cogdill Limestone Company. — This quarry is locat- 
ed on Kimsey Creek about 2 miles by road southwest 
of Fletcher (TVA Map 193— NE). This is one of 
the two active quarries in the Brevard belt and has 
been in continuous operation since about 1946. 

The rock quarried here is predominently a white, 
fine grained dolomitic marble whch is about 150 feet 



27 



thick. The average strike is about N 45° E and the 
dip about 45° SE. Closely spaced joints that strike 
N 45° W and N 10° E, badly fracture the rock. The 
marble is bounded on the northwest and southeast by 
a chlorite schist. 

The quarry is being developed northeastward along 
the strike of the formation by standard open pit 
methods. Overburden is stripped off for a consider- 
able distance in advance of the face. A single bench 
about 25 to 30 feet high is maintained. After the rock 
is blasted from the face, a % yard power shovel 
loads two 6-ton dump trucks which haul the rock to 
the crushing plant. The crushing plant is located 
just outside the quarry at the southeast end and 
consists of a 20 by 36 inch jaw crusher, a gyratory 
secondary crusher and two sets of shaker screens. 
This set-up is capable of producing about 50 tons 
per hour of crushed stone that ranges in size from 
% inch up to iy 2 inches. Most of the stone produced 
is used for road metal and concrete aggregate. Fines 
from the crushing plant are further processed and 
used as agricultural lime, but this amounts to only a 
small percentage of the total production. 

Fletcher Limestone Company. — This quarry is 
located on Kimsey Creek about 1.3 miles by road west 
of Fletcher and about 3500 feet northeast of the Cog- 
dill quarry. This is also the site of the old Blue Ridge 
Lime Company, but their original quarry lies about 
200 feet southwest of the present quarry and is now 
filled with water. Prior to the Blue Ridge Lime 
Company, the Lance quarry was located in the same 
area and its production dates back to or early as 
1835 (Loughlin, et. al, 1921, p. 68). 

The Fletcher quarry is more extensive than the 
Cogdill quarry and practically the whole thickness of 
the marble has been exposed. The southeast side of 
the quarry extends almost to the contact with the 
adjacent rock. The marble on this side is predomi- 
nently bluish white and fine grained. The beds range 
from less than a foot to about 2 feet in thickness and 
are badly fractured by joints. The middle portion 
of the quarry is occupied mostly by white, fine 
grained marble. The northwest side is composed of 
a bluish white, fine grained marble very similar to 
that in the southeast side. 

All of the quarry is below average ground level 
and Kimsey Creek has been diverted around the 
southeast side of the opening. Excessive water is 
sometimes a problem and three large pumps are used 
to control it. The quarry has been advanced north- 
eastward along the strike and is about 1500 feet long 
and averages about 200 feet wide. The depth to 



which the marble has been quarried varies between 
40 and 60 feet. 

The walls of the quarry are advanced by bench 
drilling with wagon drills and shot in small sections. 
Primary breakage is not too good and a drop-ball is 
used for secondary breakage. Quarry equipment 
seen on the ground at the time of inspection included 
two wagon drills, three jack hammers, two air com- 
pressors, six dump trucks, one % yard power shovel, 
one % yard power shovel, one % yard drag line, one 
front end loader and one bulldozer. 

The primary crushing and screening plant is locat- 
ed on the floor of the quarry and is modern and effi- 
cient in most respects. The quarry rock is dumped on 
a traveling roll grizzley and minus 4 inch rock drops 
through to a conveyor belt. Plus 4 inch rock goes to 
a 24 by 36 inch jaw crusher. Two 24 inch conveyor 
belts in series discharge to a double-deck shaker 
screen. Plus 2 inch rock is returned to the jaw 
crusher by chute. Plus 1% inch minus 2 inch rock 
passes through a 22 x 40 roll crusher. The discharge, 
together with the minus iy 2 inch rock, which by- 
passed the rolls, is taken by a 24 inch belt conveyor 
to a 36 inch short-head cone crusher and final screen 
outside the quarry. 

Production from this set-up was reported to be 
about 125 tons per hour. However, another 22 by 40 
roll crusher was being added to the primary crushing 
plant at the time the quarry was visited. This addi- 
tion plus several other adjustments was expected to 
increase the production to 150 tons per hour. 

The main product from this quarry is crushed 
stone, practically all of which is used by the State 
Highway Commission for road material. Other uses 
include crushed stone for concrete aggregate, private 
roads, driveways, etc. Prior to World War II, con- 
siderable lime was burned here for agricultural and 
building purposes. Owing to the war time shortage 
of fuel and labor the production of lime was discon- 
tinued and as yet has not been resumed. 

B & C Lime and Stone Company. — This quarry is 
located along strike and about half way between the 
Cogdill and Fletcher quarries. This company was in 
operation from 1926 to about 1936. The quarry has 
been inactive since that time and is now filled with 
water. While the quarry was active it produced lime 
and crushed stone from the same rock that is now 
being used at the above active quarries. 

Buncombe County 

Pinner Creek. — On the flood plain of Pinner Creek, 
0.5 mile northwest of the Buncombe-Henderson 
County line between the creek and the Southern 



28 




29 



Railway tracks, is the site of a small quarry that 
was worked many years ago. The excavation has 
been backfilled and leveled over and all that can be 
seen now are a few pieces of light colored marble 
scattered around in the soil. It is possible that a con- 
siderable amount of marble underlies the alluvial 
along the creek. 

Robinson Creek. — On the west side of Robinson 
Creek where the road to Christ School crosses the 
creek is the site of another small abandoned quarry. 
The excavation has filled with water, is heavily over- 
grown with vegetation and no marble can be seen in 
place. About 600 feet east of the quarry site, on the 
east side of the paved road to the Asheville-Hender- 
sonville airport, are the remains of a kiln where the 
marble was burned to lime. 

Groves Lake. — This abandoned quarry is located 
0.8 mile northeast of the Robinson Creek site on 
Merrill Cove Creek. The best preserved kiln seen in 
the area is located at the north end of the lake on 
the west side. The lake is apparently the site of 
the old quarry but no rock can be seen in place. 

Gravel Creek. — The most northeastern point where 
the marble in the Brevard belt is known to have been 
worked is just southeast of where Gravel Creek 
crosses the road between the Asheville-Henderson- 
ville airport and Fairview. Residents report that 
"limestone" was quarried here about 50 years ago, 
but all signs of the old workings are now completely 
obscured. 

Mitchell County 

Bandana dolomite marble. — The only known oc- 
currence of carbonate rock in Mitchell County is 
located on the east side of the North Toe River, 1.3 
miles northwest of Bandana. The deposit can be 
reached by turning northwest onto the first unpaved 
road northeast of the post office in Bandana and 
traveling 1.1 miles to the end of this road. From 
this point follow a small west flowing creek to the 
Clinchfield Railroad tracks. Walk north along the 
railroad for about % mile, or to the first creek on the 
east side of the tracks. The marble is exposed in 
the railroad cut about 200 feet south of the creek. 

The deposit is composed of a white, uniformly 
coarse grained dolomite marble. It is associated with 
a series of alternating layers of fine to medium 
grained quartz biotite gneiss and muscovite schist 
which Keith (1905) mapped as Carolina gneiss. The 
entire series, including the marble, is cut by an ir- 
regular pegmatite dike. 



As seen in the railroad cut, there are two distinct 
layers of marble. The upper layer is about 60 feet 
thick and is separated by about 15 feet of gneiss 
from the lower layer of marble, which is about 10 
feet thick. All of the contacts between the gneiss, 
schist, marble and pegmatite are sharp and no transi- 
tion between the rock types is apparent. The marble, 
as well as the enclosing gneiss and schist, strikes 
about N 65° E and dips 50° —55° SE. The marble 
is massive, free from joints, and the only impurities 
noted were a few stringers of quartz and some actino- 
lite and serpentine. Chemical analyses show that the 
marble closely approaches the composition of pure 
dolomite and that it is also unusually low in acid in- 
solubles. 

The marble is not continuously exposed along 
strike, but has been traced northeast of the roalroad 
and river by prospect trenches and pits and boulders 
protruding above ground level for some 2000 feet. It 
is also exposed in a narrow zone about 18 feet wide 
on a hill above a small creek about 1800 feet north- 
east of the railroad. No outcrops of the marble are 
known to occur on the west side of the river. It has 
been conservatively estimated (Hunter and Gilder- 
sleeve, 1946, p. 28) that the Bandana deposit con- 
tains at least 500,000 tons of high-grade dolomite 
marble. This estimate was based on an average out- 
crop width of 25 feet and a downward extension of 
100 feet below railroad level. 

This deposit is favorably situated for quarrying, 
being well above the river and next to the railroad. 
Also, it is uniform in color and contains few impuri- 
ties. The principal disadvantages are the presence of 
the pegmatite dike, which is reported to extend the 
whole length of the marble (Watson and Laney, 
1906, p. 204) , and the distance from a large market. 

Ashe County 

Horse Creek deposit. — A deposit of moderately 
coarse grained white marble, containing small grains 
and lenses of magnetite, is located on Horse Creek 
near Lansing, in Ashe County. It is situated next to 
the Norfolk and Western Railroad about 1.2 miles 
southeast of Lansing. 

This locality was not visited during this investiga- 
tion, but the deposit was worked for iron ore by the 
Ashe Mining Company in 1920 and was described in 
detail by Bayley (1923, p. 183-197). The marble is 
associated with a coarse grained, quartz-feldspar- 
mica gneiss and mica and hornblende schists. It 
strikes N 35° E and dips 40° SE. 

About 0.3 mile northeast of the railroad station in 
Lansing and 0.75 mile N 20° E of the deposit on 



30 



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BUNCOMBE 



COUNTY 





RUTH ERFQRD 



COUNTY 



LEGEND 
SHADY POLOMITE 



SCALE 
12 3 4 



MILES 



FIGURE 10. 



map showing 
location of shady dolomite 
in Mcdowell county 



32 



Horse Creek, is another old iron ore prospect pit in 
which marble was found in association with gneisses 
(Bayley, 1923, p. 194). 

McDowell County 
General Statement 

There are two types of lime bearing rocks in Mc- 
Dowell County. The first, and only one that has been 
of commercial value, is an elongate area of Shady 
dolomite which occurs along the North Fork of the 
Catawba River in the northern part of the county. 
The other is a series of disconnected outcrops of 
siliceous marble, or recrystallized limestone, that oc- 
cur along the Catawba River between Greenlee and 
Lake James. This siliceous marble was only recently 
discovered, and although some exploratory drilling 
has been done its potential as a commercial deposit 
is still uncertain. 

Shady Dolomite 

The Shady dolomite occupies three areas in the 
northern part of the county. The northernmost and 
largest area extends for about 12 miles from Sevier 
northward along the North Fork of the Catawba 
River and U. S. Highway 221 to just south of Lin- 
ville Falls. The second begins at Woodlawn and un- 
derlies part of the flat area of Turkey Cove and the 
lower part of the ridge on the south side of the cove. 
It forms an area roughly circular in outline and about 
one mile in diameter. The third is a small body 
located 2 miles southeast of Woodlawn where the 
Clinchfield Railroad crosses the river. This body of 
dolomite is situated in a very remote and inaccessible 
part of the county, and as it is practically eliminated 
from any commercial development it will not be 
discussed further. 

As described and mapped by Keith (1905) and 
Keith and Sterrett (unpublished) the Shady dolo- 
mite in McDowell County consists of white, gray and 
bluish gray beds of fine to medium grained recrystal- 
lized dolomite or marble. The calcium carbonate con- 
tent ranges from 52 to 62 percent and the magnesium 
carbonate from 33 to 41 percent (Loughlin, et. al., 
1921, p. 56). The layers are thick and massive and 
badly fractured by closely spaced joints. The beds 
near the base of the formation contain considerable 
amounts of silica in the form of detrital quartz grains 
and chert and some have a high content of iron. 
Beds in the upper part of the formation are generally 
less impure than the lower beds, but quartz, pyrite, 
iron carbonate, feldspar and mica have been noted 



as excessory minerals (Loughlin, et. al. 1921, p. 57- 
58). 

Considering the total area underlain by the dolo- 
mite, outcrops are relatively rare. The base and 
lower part of the formation are exposed at several 
places along the North Fork of the Catawba River 
and U. S. Highway 221 between Ashford and Lin- 
ville Falls. In places the dolomite is present for at 
least 200 feet up the west side of the steep slope next 
to the North Fork, but is almost completely covered 
by overburden and a thick growth of timber. The 
best exposure of dolomite along the North Fork is 
at Linville Caverns on the west side of U. S. High- 
way 221 about 3 miles south of Linville Falls. Above 
and behind the caverns the formation has developed 
a narrow ridge about 2500 feet long and 1250 feet 
wide. Along the small valley which parallels the 
western side of the ridge is a completely exposed 
section of the upper two thirds of the formation 
(Hunter and Gildersleeve, 1946, p. 27). About 0.75 
mile north of the caverns on the southeast end of a 
northwest trending ridge, is an extremely shattered 
zone of dolomite about 75 feet wide in which galena 
occurs in association with several small quartz veins. 
The dolomite overlying this galena-bearing zone is 
about 250 feet thick and is much whiter than any 
other dolomite exposed along the North Fork (Hunt- 
er and Gildersleeve, 1946, p. 27). 

The Shady dolomite in McDowell County, like the 
Shady dolomite in the Hot Springs area, is involved 
in a complicated structural unit that disrupts the 
normal rock pattern of the Blue Ridge belt in the 
Grandfather Mountain area. The Shady dolomite, 
part of the underlying Chillowee group, possibly 
rocks equivalent to the Ocoee series, and igneous 
rocks and gneisses of Precambrian (?) age have 
been folded and faulted into a unique structure 
known as the Grandfather Mountain window. Al- 
though Keith (1903, 1905) and Keith and Sterett 
(unpublished) were unable to map a fault continu- 
ously around the complex southeastern side of the 
area, the structure has been interpreted by many 
geologists as a window. Recent mapping in the area 
by members of the United States Geological Survey 
(Bryant and Reed, 1959) has confirmed this hypo- 
thesis that sedimentary and igneous rocks in the 
Grandfather Mountain area are exposed in a window 
beneath an overriding plate of crystalline rocks. 

History of Production 

Outcrops of "limestone" along the valley of the 
North Fork of the Catawba River were noted by 
Kerr in 1875. However, the presence of the dolomite 



33 



was undoubtedly known to the local residents long 
before this. Small amounts of "limestone" were 
burned in beehive kilns for local use at several 
places in the area. Kilns are known to have been 
located along Limekiln Creek, in the Turkey Cove 
area, and on the North Fork about 1.5 miles north 
of Linville Caverns. There are no records to indicate 
when these kilns were active, but some of them were 
very likely in use prior to the War Between the 
States. 

The first attempt to utilize the dolomite for any- 
thing other than burning to lime was made a few 
years prior to 1890 when the North Carolina Geologi- 
cal Survey conducted an extensive drilling program 
on the plantation of Col. J. G. Yancey. The purpose 
of this exploration was to locate a marble deposit 
suitable for dimension stone. Records made at the 
time this work was done state that although much 
of the rock was too badly fractured by joints for use 
as a dimension stone, portions of it were fairly free 
from joints and would be well adapted for use as a 
building and ornamental stone (Lewis, 1893, p. 97- 
98) . Owing to the lack of railroad transportation and 
other unfavorable economic factors no development 
work was done on this deposit for dimension stone. 

Shortly after the Carolina Clinchfield and Ohio 
Railroad completed its line from Marion, North Caro- 
lina to Johnson City, Tennessee, the first commercial 
quarry was opened in the Shady dolomite. This was 
the Clinchfield Lime Company quarry which was 
opened in 1916, and was located a few tenths of a 
mile north of Ashford on the west side of North 
Fork. Production from this quarry consisted of 
crushed stone and agricultural lime. The quarry 
was worked by the Clinchfield Lime Company until 
1925, after which it was idle until the Campbell 
Limestone Company took over the property and pro- 
duced crushed stone for a few years prior to World 
War II. The quarry has not been worked since about 
1940. 

In the mid 1930's the State Highway and Public 
Works Commission obtained an option on the dolo- 
mite deposit on the Yancey Estate at Woodlawn. 
After investigations by the State Geologist and Mr. 
Frank L. Hess, U. S. Bureau of Mines, the commis- 
sion purchased the property and opened a quarry to 
furnish crushed stone for road construction and 
maintenance and agricultural lime. This quarry has 
been in continuous operation since 1937 and is still 
owned and operated by the State Highway Com- 
mission. 



Description of Workings 

Woodlawn quarry (State Highway Commission). — 

This quarry is located on the south side of Turkey 
Cove about 0.5 mile south of Woodlawn. It is about 
0.25 mile east of U. S. Highway 221 and 7.5 miles 
north of Marion, North Carolina. 

The quarry has been developed southward into the 
face of a large hill which rises some 600 feet above 
the level of the cove. It is roughly rectangular in 
shape with the north end open. The east and west 
faces are about 360 feet long and the south face 
about 240 feet wide. Height of the faces vary from 
180 feet in the southeast corner to 200 feet on the 
west side. 

Fine grained, bluish-gray dolomite is the predomi- 
nant rock type, but dark blue, pink and white beds 
are also present. Thickness of the beds range from 
a few inches to several feet and all are badly fractur- 
ed by closely spaced joints. Owing to an undulating 
effect, the dip varies considerably but averages about 
10° to the southeast. This is well displayed in both 
the east and west faces which have been developed 
about parallel to the dip. 

Quarrying is advanced by drilling a line of 8 inch 
churn drill holes parallel to and 20 feet back from 
the south face. The holes are drilled several feet 
below the level of the quarry floor and the entire face 
is blasted simultaneously. A very large tonnage of 
rock is dislodged at one time, reported to be almost 
enough for one year's production, but primary break- 
age is poor. Considerable secondary breakage is 
necessary and this is done with jack hammers and a 
wagon drill. 

A power shovel is used in the quarry to load the 
rock on two dump trucks which haul it to the crush- 
ing plant. The plant is located just outside the quarry 
at the north end and consists of a 20" x 36" jaw 
crusher, a 40" roll crusher, triple deck screens (12 
feet) a washing system and storage bins. This set-up 
is reported to be capable of producing up to 100 tons 
per hour of % mcn an d under crushed stone. All of 
the stone produced is used by the State Highway 
Commission for road construction, maintenance and 
asphalt filler. 

When the quarry was first opened it was proposed 
that the Highway Commission sell agricultural lime- 
stone at cost as a by-product from the quarry opera- 
tion (Bryson, 1937, p. 112). This would have made 
limestone available to the farmers of North Carolina 
at a considerable savings. However, since the quarry 
has been in operation only a comparatively small 
amount of agricultural limestone has been produced. 



34 



Clinchfield Lime Company (inactive). — This quar- 
ry is located along the steep bluff on the west side of 
the North Fork of the Catawba River a few tenths 
of a mile north of Ashford and 16.5 miles by road 
north of Marion. The quarry can be reached by turn- 
ing west off of U. S. Highway 221 onto an abandoned 
road, which is located 0.4 mile north of where the 
Clinchfield Railroad crosses over U. S. Highway 221 
at Ashford. The road now dead-ends at the creek, 
but the quarry is only a few hundred yards west of 
the creek. . 

When the quarry was opened in 1916 it was equip- 
ped with a gyrating crusher with a capacity of 300 
tons per day and a rock pulverizer having a capacity 
of 150 tons per day. Crushed stone was gravity 
loaded from storage bins into standard gauge cars. 
The cars were moved by gravity to the main line of 
the Clinchfield railroad on a spur track 3000 feet 
long (Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 60). 

The dolomite dips to the west, or into the bluff, at 
a low angle. Most of that exposed in the quarry 
face is a fine grain, dark-blue dolomite, but beds of 
white and light-gray dolomite are also present. In- 
dividual beds range from less than a foot to 3 or 4 
feet thick, and are fractured by closely spaced joints. 
Quartz is the most common impurity, but pyrite and 
chlorite are also present. 

The quarry was developed into the face of the buff 
and is about 200 feet wide and has a face well over 
100 feet high in places. As mentioned above, the 
dolomite dips into the bluff and as the face was ad- 
vanced the overburden became greater. This was 
probably the main reason the quarry was abandoned 
in 1925. When the quarry was last worked by the 
Campbell Limestone Company most of the rock quar- 
ried was taken from the south end of the face. An 
opening was started at floor level and advanced into 
the old quarry face for about 30 feet. On the outside 
the excavation is about 40 feet high and 40 to 50 
feet wide. 

There appears to be an unlimited amount of dolo- 
mite present at this abandoned quarry, but the in- 
creasing amount of overburden prohibits the use of 
ordinary bench-type quarrying methods. Any future 
large scale quarrying done at this site will eventually 
have to use underground methods. 

Siliceous Marble Along the Catawba River 

General Statement 

During the course of field work for this report an 
interesting occurrence of crystalline limestone, or 
marble, that had not previously been reported was 



called to the writer's attention by Mr. Carter Hudgins 
of Marion, North Carolina. The marble occurs in a 
series of four outcrops that are in almost perfect 
alinement. The most southern outcrop is located near 
Greenlee, 5.1 miles southwest of Marion. The other 
three lie next to, or very close to, the Catawba 
River in a N 55° E direction over a distance of about 
7 miles to Lake James. 

General Geology 

The area in which the marble occurs lies mostly 
within the Mt. Mitchell 30' quadrangle. As mapped 
by Keith (1905) and Keith and Sterrett (unpub- 
lished) the marble outcrops lie entirely within a 
large mass of "Carolina gneiss" which begins in the 
vicinity of Old Fort, strikes northeast across the 
southeast corner of the Mt. Mitchell quadrangle 
and continues across the Morganton quadrangle. On 
the northwest side the "Carolina gneiss" is bounded 
by a belt about 3 miles wide of Henderson granite 
gneiss. To the northeast, the Henderson granite 
gneiss gives way to the Lower Cambrian siliceous 
and carbonate rocks which form part of the Grand- 
father Mountain window. 

In the Mount Mitchell folio, Keith describes the 
Carolina gneiss as being, in part, of sedimentary 
origin and containing small lenses of marble. How- 
ever, the only marble he specifically mentions is that 
in the Toe River near Bandana in Mitchell County. 
Keith evidently did not see the marble outcrops in 
question ; however, this is understandable because it 
is likely that they were not exposed during the time 
he was mapping in the area. All of the outcrops ex- 
cept part of one are exposed in roadcuts that have 
been made since about 1920. 

Description of Marble 

Although the outcrops are as much as three miles 
apart, all of the marble is very similar in texture and 
composition, and there is little doubt that all of the 
outcrops are closely related and belong to the same 
"formation". 

The marble is fine to medium grained and is either 
light to medium gray or dark bluish gray in color. 
On a fresh surface the dark bluish gray variety is 
streaked with thin stringers and lenses of irregularly 
spaced white quartz. Upon weathering the difference 
in the hardness of quartz and marble results in an 
irregular and rough surface. In addition to the quartz 
stringers there are also individual grains of quartz 
scattered through the marble. At two of the out- 
crops where the top of the marble is exposed, the 
upper two to three feet contain abundant, irregular 



35 



35°3 5' 




34°45' 



35* 35' 



MARBLE OUTCROPS 



FIGURE 



A 



SCALE 

2 3 



OUTLINE MAP OF MARION AREA 
SHOWING MARBLE OUTCROPS 



MILES 



36 



shaped lenses and nodules composed of quartz and /or 
feldspar. Their size ranges from less than an inch 
to a foot or more in length or diameter. These nodules 
and lenses are secondary in origin and were evidently 
formed at the time of recrystallization. 

Muscovite mica is also a conspicuous excessory 
mineral. It occurs dissminated through the marble 
and much of it is 1 mm. or more in diameter. In thin 
section the gray marble contains several percent of 
irregular shaped and broken feldspar grains, but 
only a very few grains of feldspar were present in 
the blue marble examined. 

At only one outcrop can the relationship of the 
marble to the overlying and underlying rocks be 
seen. This section is located on the northeast side 
of a paved county road 2 miles northwest of Marion. 
Here the marble strikes N 35° E and dips 5° to 20° 
SE. It varies from dark bluish gray to medium bluish 
gray and is fine grained, micaceous and siliceous. The 
upper 40 feet of the marble are well exposed but the 
lower part is covered by a thick mantle of soil. 

Immediately overlying the marble is a thin zone 
of dark reddish brown silty material. It ranges from 
a few inches to 2 feet in thickness and its thickness 
changes very abruptly across strike. This material 
could possibly be a fossil soil preserved on an old 
erosion surface, but it appears most likely to be a 
residuum derived from the irregular weathering of 
the marble. 

Overlying the residuum and in places directly in 
contact with the marble is a thick sequence (in ex- 
cess of 100 feet) of white to light gray layered rocks 
that strike N 35° E and dip 5° to 30° SE. The indivi- 
dual layers range from a few inches up to 1.5 feet 
in thickness. The rock is composed mostly of quartz 
and feldspar with minor amounts of mica and garnet. 
It is predominantly fine to medium grained but con- 
tains layers up to a foot thick that are composed of 
coarse grains of feldspar and quartz imbedded in a 
fine-grained matrix of quartz, feldspar and mica. The 
coarse grains range from 2 to 30 mm in their longest 
dimension, which is usually parallel to the layering. 
Although many of them are augen, or eye-shaped, 
some are subhedral to anhedral and a few are spher- 
ical. These coarse grains are predominantly feldspar. 

In thin section the rock has a cataclastic structure 
and is composed of approximately 68 percent quartz 
and 29 percent feldspar, which includes orthoclase, 
microcline, and plagioclase. The remaining 3 percent 
is about equally distributed between muscovite and 
garnet. Most of the quartz occurs as a very fine 
grained matrix of irregular shaped, interlocking 
grains. The feldspars are present as coarser-grained 



augen, up to 5 mm. and fine irregular shaped grains 
scattered through the matrix. 

Based on the field relationships and limited thin 
section study this rock is thought to be a feldspathic 
quartzite which is genetically related to the marble. 
However, it has been suggested by other geologists 
who have examined the outcrops that the rock in 
question may be highly cataclastic pegmatites rich 
in potash feldspar. This question of classification 
can be resolved only by a more detailed petrographic 
study. 

The contact of the marble with the underlying 
rock cannot be seen because of the weathered condi- 
tion of the rocks and a thick mantle of soil. There is 
a covered interval of about 115 feet between the 
lowest bed of marble and the first exposure of the 
underlying rock. The upper 12 feet of the underlying 
rock consists of a series of alternating layers of 
quartzite and very fine grained quartz gneiss which 
strikes N 65° E and dips 35° SE. The quartzite layers 
are 3 to 4 feet thick, white to buff colored and mica- 
ceous. The gneiss layers are 2 to 3 feet thick, dull 
greenish gray colored and are composed mostly of 
fine-grained quartz with lesser amounts of feldspar, 
mica and garnet. The lowest layer of gneiss grades 
downward into a thick section of crenulated garneti- 
ferous-chlorite schist. 

Location of Outcrops 

For the purpose of describing the location of the 
outcrops they have been numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 from 
northeast to southwest. 

Outcrop No. 1. — This outcrop is located on the 
north side of a paved county road, 2.7 miles north of 
Marion. It can be reached by traveling northwest 
from Marion on U. S. Highway 221 for 0.5 mile past 
the junction of U. S. 70 and 221. Then turn north- 
west (right) onto a paved county road and travel 
for 2.1 miles to an unpaved county road and thence 
southeast (right) on an unpaved road for 0.9 mile. 
Where the unpaved road interesects the paved county 
road, turn east (left) onto a paved road. The out- 
crop is located on the north (left) side of this road, 
0.4 mile from the intersection. It consists of a single, 
large block of gray marble, the base of which is about 
12 feet above road level. 

Outcrop No. 2. — This outcrop is located on the 
northeast side of a paved county road, 2 miles north- 
west of Marion. It can be reached by traveling north- 
west from Marion on U. S. Highway 70 for 0.8 mile 
past the junction of U. S. 70 and 221. Just before 
U. S. 70 crosses the Catawba River turn southeast 



37 



(left) onto a paved county road. The outcrop is on 
the northeast (left) side of this road, 0.4 mile from 
U. S. 70. This is the best outcrop of the four and is 
the only one in which both the rocks that overlie 
and underlie the marble can be seen. 

Outcrop No. 3. — This outcrop is located on the 
south side of an unpaved county road and in the 
south bank of the Catawba River, 2.9 miles west of 
Marion. It can be reached by traveling northwest 
from Marion on U. S. Highway 70 for 1.75 miles 
past the junction of U. S. 70 and 221. Just before 
State Highway 80 intersects U. S. 70 turn south 
(left) onto an unpaved county road and travel 0.4 
mile to the Catawba River. Cross the river and 
turn west (right) ; the outcrop is 100 feet west of 
the bridge. 

The outstanding feature of this outcrop is the 
presence of an apparent fault. In the road cut the 
upper 3 feet of the marble is exposed. This is over- 
lain by a massive layer of f eldspathic quartzite. This 
same sequence is repeated in the river bank. There 
is a vertical displacement of 25 feet between the top 
of the marble in the road cut and in the river bank. 
The angle of the fault plane could not be determined 
but the fault is apparently normal. 

Outcrop No. 4. — This outcrop is located on the 
northeast side of an unpaved county road, 5.1 miles 
southwest of Marion. It can be reached by continu- 
ing west and southwest on the same road from out- 
crop No. 3 for 2.3 miles to Greenlee and turning 
southeast (left) and crossing the Southern Railway 
tracks. At this point the road forks, take the south 
(right) fork and continue on this road for 0.9 mile 
to the outcrop. The exposure is in the drainage ditch 
and road bank on the northeast (left) side of the 
road. It consists of a single block of light gray mar- 
ble about 3 feet high and 5 feet long. 

Exploratory Drilling 

During the winter of 1958-59 seven exploratory 
holes were drilled along the strike of the marble. 
The holes were drilled between outcrops number 4 
and 2 and were done under the supervision of Mr. 
Earl C. VanHorn, Consulting Geologist. Two of the 
holes were drilled on top of the ridge above outcrop 
number 4, two were in the first creek valley northeast 
of outcrop number 4 and two were in the valley of 
the second creek northeast of outcrop number 4. The 
last hole was drilled a short distance up the slope 
above outcrop number 2. 

All of the holes encountered the marble at depth, 
but the only one for which a log is available is the 



one at outcrop number 2. The log was furnished by 
Mr. Van Horn and is as follows : 

Depth Interval Description of core 

0.0- 25.0 25 Overburden 

25.0- 67.5 42.5 Fine-grained quartzite, nx. core 

has calcareous quartz - mica 
gneiss from 57.0 to 58.8 dips 
5 to 15 degrees. 

67.5-197.0 129.5 Impure marble. Has occassional 

quartz stringers to 79.0 ft. Dips 
5 to 15 degrees. 

197.0-Z13.4 16.4 Calcareous-quartz-mica gneiss. 

Dips 15 degrees. 

216.3-219.6 3.3 Calcareous-chlorite gneiss. Dips 

30 degrees. 

219.6-223.0 3.4 Quartz-chlorite gneiss. 

223.0-227.0 4.0 Calcareous-quartz-mica gneiss. 

Dips 15 to 30 degrees. 

227.0-249.7 22.7 Quartz-chlorite gneiss. Pyritic. 

Dips 45 degrees. 

249.7 Bottom 

Chemical analyses from the marble section of this 
core were made on three foot composite samples. In 
the 41 samples analyzed the Si0 2 content ranged 
from 26.76 to 61.08 percent, the R 2 3 from 11.60 to 
24.90 percent, the CaC0 3 from 13.18 to 55.39 percent 
and the MgC0 3 from 0.84 to 7.41 percent. The aver- 
age of the 41 samples gave: 38.36 percent Si0 2 , 
15.77 percent R 2 3 , 40.73 CaC0 3 and 5.14 percent 
MgC0 3 . These chemical analyses were also furnished 
through the courtesy of Mr. Van Horn. 

Significance of Alinement of Outcrops 

As previously mentioned, the four outcrops are 
spaced over a distance of 7 miles and form a conspic- 
uous alinement that strikes N 55° E. Enough detail 
work has not been done in the area to fully explain 
the reason for this alinement, but one possible ex- 
planation is that the outcrops lie along the trace of 
a major fault. Evidence to support this is; (1) the 
conspicuous alinement of the outcrops, (2) local 
faulting at outcrop number 3, (3) the proximity of 
all the outcrops to the Catawba River, and (4) the 
absence of any marble northwest of the alinement. 
Detail geologic mapping now in progress by the 
United States Geological Survey northeast of and 
along the strike of the alinement will probably prove 
whether or not a major fault passes through the 
area. 

Another possible explanation for this alinement is 
that the outcrop pattern is somewhat coincidental. 



38 



Six of the diamond drill holes, located between out- 
crops number 4 and 3, penetrated the marble at 
depth. By projecting up dip, the area in which the 
marble should outcrop was in each case covered by 
soil or stream alluvium. If the marble was exposed 
in these areas by natural processes, then the aline- 
ment of outcrops now present from road cut ex- 
posures would be somewhat altered. 

Economic Possibilities of Marble 

Although this particular occurrence of marble is 
highly interesting and significant from a scientific or 
geological viewpoint, its potential as a commercial 
rock is limited. As indicated by the drilling already 
done, if there is a large enough tonnage present to 
supply a mining operation it would be present at 
depth and would have to be removed by underground 
methods. A comprehensive drilling program would 
first have to be carried out to determine the size, 
shape and orientation of the marble at depth. 

Of equal importance is the chemical composition 
of the marble. Its high content of Si0 2 and R 2 3 
automatically eliminates it for many uses as an in- 
dustrial rock. A demand for and a use to which this 
particular marble is suited would first have to be 
found before an expensive drilling program could be 
justified. 

Kings Mountain Belt 
General Statement 

The Kings Mountain belt is comprised of a narrow 
zone of steeply dipping metamorphosed sedimentary 
rocks that extends from just south of Gaffney, South 
Carolina, northeastward almost to the Catawba 
River in North Carolina, a distance of about 50 miles. 
It enters North Carolina in Cleveland County just 
east of Grover, passes northeastward between Kings 
Mountain and Bessemer City, crosses the northeast 
corner of Gaston County and continues across the 
central part of Lincoln County between Lincolnton 
and Iron Station. It continues into Catawba County 
for about 8 miles where it terminates just northeast 
of Bandy s Crossroads. 

The rocks in the Kings Mountain belt consist of 
quartzite, schist, volcanics, crystalline limestone and 
dolomite and calcareous metashales. On the east and 
west sides, the belt is bordered by more highly meta- 
morphosed gneisses and schists which have been in- 
truded by large, irregular bodies of granitic rocks. 

The southwestern one-half of the belt was map- 
ped by Keith and Sterrett (1931) and they considered 
that the rocks in the belt to be metamorphosed 



Paleozoic sediments lying unconformably on the adja- 
cent crystalline rocks of Precambrian age. They as- 
signed them to the Cambrian system and named the 
formations in ascending order; the Kings Mountain 
quartzite, Blacksburg schist and Gaffney marble. 
Underlying this sequence of Cambrian rocks is the 
Battleground schist, which is also composed of 
metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, but thought to 
be considerably older (Algonkian — Late Precam- 
brian). Also intimately associated with the meta- 
sedimentary rocks are large bodies of hornblende- 
biotite gneiss and muscovite schist and gneiss which 
were mapped as Roan gneiss and Carolina gneiss of 
Archean age (Early Precambrian). The overall 
structure of the belt was interpreted as synclinal 
and they mapped numerous longitudinal faults, par- 
ticularly along the northwest side. 

Kesler (1942, 1944, 1955) mapped a part of the 
belt in the Kings Mountain area in more detail and 
his interpretation of the structure and correlation 
of the formations differs considerably from that of 
Keith and Sterrett. According to Kesler's mapping 
most of the rocks that Keith included in the Battle- 
ground schist and Kings Mountain quartzite were 
grouped as siliceous metasediments. These siliceous 
rocks form the higher elevations and prominent 
ridges that are characteristic of the belt and often 
called mountains. A younger group of calcareous 
metasediments consisting largely of crystalline lime- 
stone, dolomite and calcareous metashales were 
grouped to include part of the Battleground schist, 
Kings Mountain quartzite, Blacksburg schist and 
Gaffney marble. 

Layered gneisses and schists mapped by Keith as 
Carolina gneiss, Roan gneiss and the finer grained 
parts of the Bessemer granite were grouped as non- 
unifrom layered rocks. Kesler (1955, p. 379) be- 
lieved these rocks were derived from the siliceous 
and calcareous metasediments but metamorphosed to 
such a degree that their original sedimentary charac- 
ter is not readily evident. Furthermore, that south 
of the town of Kings Mountain the calcareous meta- 
sediments grade unevenly westward into the series 
of non-uniform layered gneisses and schists. 

Uniform unlayered rocks consisting of feld- 
spathic gneisses with weak foliation and little or no 
layered structure were mapped by Kesler as the 
equivalent of the coarser parts of Keith's Bessemer 
granite. These rocks are enclosed in the non-uniform 
layered gneisses and schists and may have been de- 
rived from the more uniform parts of the original 
rocks, possibly thick bedded shales or tuffs (Kesler, 
1955, p. 379). 



39 








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Whereas Keith and Sterrett (1931) interpreted the 
overall structure of the belt as synclinal, Kesler be- 
lieves the major structure to be a rather tightly 
compressed anticline whose core includes the silice- 
ous metasediments. The limbs of the anticline would 
include the non-uniform layered rocks and the uni- 
form unlay ered rocks. All of the original sediments 
were recrystallized to the condition of the rocks in 
the siliceous and calcareous groups, and parts of them 
were further metamorphosed to layered and unlayer- 
ed schists and gneisses in proximity to the regional 
intrusives (Kesler, 1955, p. 381). 

Marble in the Kings Mountain Belt 

Two distinct types of marble occur in the Kings 
Mountain belt. At several places beds of dolomitic 
marble, 1 to 20 feet thick, are interlayered with mica 
schists which Keith and Sterrett (1931) mapped as 
Carolina gneiss. The best example of this is at the 
old Kings Mountain gold mine, located about 2 miles 
south of the town of Kings Mountain and 1.5 miles 
west of the Pinnacle where gold bearing quartz veins 
are associated with beds or lenses of fine to medium 
grained white to blue and gray banded dolomitic 
marble (Keith and Sterrett, 1931, p. 8). Although 
this deposit was worked intermittently from 1834 to 
1913 for gold, no attempt has been made to use the 
marble. 

The other type is the Gaffney marble which was 
so named by Keith and Sterrett (1931, p. 6) for the 
exposures in the quarries near Gaffney, South Caro- 
lina. It occurs as discontinuous beds, or lenses, for 
the entire length of the belt. From Gaffney to Grover 
there are two more or less parallel beds of marble, 
but from Grover northeastward through the town 
of Kings Mountain to just southwest of Bessemer 
City only one bed has been recognized. However, in 
Lincoln and Catawba Counties two parallel marble 
bearing zones are again present, as revealed by out- 
crop pattern and drilling along the strike of the Big 
Ore Bank. 

The Gaffney marble is for the most part very fine 
to medium grained and varies in color from dark 
bluish gray to white. It usually has a moderately 
steep to steep dip to the northwest and much of it is 
schistose. In composition the marble varies consider- 
ably, some beds are high calcium marble, but most 
of it is dolomitic. Thin beds of mica schist are inter- 
bedded with the marble, and are particularly com- 
mon near the contacts with the adjacent rocks. Close 
to the contacts, impurities such as quartz, mica, 
hornblende, epidote, chlorite and pyrite become in- 



creasingly abundant and the marble grades into 
layered schists and gneisses. 

The thickness of the marble ranges from less than 
50 feet to 800 feet (Kesler, 1955, p. 386). As the 
marble is more soluble than the rocks with which it 
is associated, it usually forms low ground and out- 
crops are rare. Where outcrops are present they are 
always adjacent to or in creek beds. 

History of Production 

Included in the Kings Mountain belt are a series 
of magnetite iron deposits that occur intermittently 
for the entire length of the belt. These deposits lie 
east of the marble and are best developed in the 
southwestern part of Gaston County and in Lincoln 
and Catawba Counties. At one time these deposits 
were worked extensively and were the principal 
source of domestic supplies of iron in North Carolina 
(Kerr, 1875, p. 251). 

One of the most productive areas in this belt was 
the old magnetite ore bank, which extends from a 
point about 3 miles northeast of Iron Station in 
Lincoln County to Anderson's Mountain in Catawba 
County, a distance of 9 miles. On this ore-belt iron 
ore was mined and smelted from the time of the 
Revolutionary War until 1882 (Nitze, 1893, p. 88). 
The ore was smelted in Catalin forges and small 
charcoal furnaces, several of which are still stand- 
ing. 

During the time the iron was being mined and 
smelted, several quarries were opened in the adja- 
cent marble formation and furnished fluxing material 
for smelting the iron. The best known of these 
early quarries were the Shuford and Powell quarries 
in Catawba County and the Keener and Finger quar- 
ries in Lincoln County. 

After the last iron furnace closed in 1882 the quar- 
ries were worked intermittently for several years to 
furnish lime for local use. The last work done at 
any of these old quarries was about 1916 when some 
limestone was burned at the Powell quarry (Lough- 
lin, et. al., 1921, p. 77). 

In 1940 the Superior Stone Company began de- 
veloping a quarry for crushed stone near the town 
of Kings Mountain. The company has continued oper- 
ations at this site since that time and now has one 
of the largest limestone quarries in the southeast. 

During 1941 and 1942 the Setzer quarry, located 
1 mile northeast of Bandys Crossroads in Catawba 
County, was operated by the Catawba Limestone 
Corporation to supply local demands for crushed 
stone and agricultural limestone. The Burgess Stone 
and Lime Company succeeded the earlier operator 



41 



and worked the quarry for about a year, but the 
quarry has been abandoned since 1944. 

Description of Workings 
Cleveland County 

Superior Stone Company (Kings Mountain quar- 
ry). — This quarry is located about 1 mile south of 
the town of Kings Mountain on a headwaters tribu- 
tary to Kings Creek. The quarry can be reached by 
traveling south on State Highway 216 for 0.8 mile 
past the intersection of Highway 216 with U. S. 
Highway 74. A well marked access road to the 
quarry is on the left (southeast) at this point and 
the quarry is 0.4 mile from Highway 216. 

The rock quarried here is predominently a dark 
bluish gray, fine grained dolomitic marble. It is re- 
ferred to as limestone, but is sufficiently recrystal- 
lized to be classed as marble. The formation strikes 
about N 30° E and dips about 40° to the northwest; 
however, there are local variations in both strike 
and dip. Individual beds range from a few inches 
to 5 or 6 feet thick, but average about 1 foot. Num- 
erous calcite veinlets, paper thin to a ^4 mc h thick, 
give the rock a streaked or bedded appearance. Most 
of the calcite is parallel to the bedding, but also 
occurs at various angles to it. Considerable calcite 
is also present as smears on joint faces. The forma- 
tion is badly fractured by closely spaced vertical and 
horizontal joints, which intersect at almost right 
angles. This causes the marble to break into blocks 
of various dimensions. 

On a fresh surface in the extreme northwest 
corner, the marble contains considerable pyrite, 
chalcopyrite and thin quartz stringers. Also present 
are interbeds of mica and chlorite schist and the 
marble has a definite schistose appearance. 

The quarry has been developed along the strike of 
the formation. As the marble is about 800 feet 
thick here, the quarry is much longer than it is wide, 
It covers an area of about 22 acres and has been 
developed by standard bench type quarrying meth- 
ods. The benches are about 70 feet high and are 
advanced perpendicular to the strike. At the time 
the quarry was visited, two benches were being 
worked in the northeast end of the quarry and a 
third was being developed. When production was 
started in 1940 the plant had a capacity of 150 tons 
per hour. In 1958 the capacity was 500 tons per 
hour. This is by far the largest limestone quarry in 
the state and it uses up to date equipment. 

The general quarry operation is outlined as fol- 
lows: Two rotary drills are used for drilling the 



holes for blasting the bench faces. It is interesting 
to note that this was the first company to use rotary 
drills in a commercial stone operation (Rock Prod- 
ucts, 1949, p. 79). Primary breakage is usually 
very good and the necessary secondary drilling is 
done with pack hammer drills. At the quarry face, 

3 Koering power shovels are used to load 6 Euclid 
dump trucks (14 tons capacity) that haul to the pri- 
mary crusher. The primary crusher is located at 
the southwest end of the quarry at the first bench 
level. 

The stone is first run through a 48 x 60 inch jaw 
crusher. From the jaw crusher it is carried by a 48 
inch conveyor belt to 4 inch screens. All sizes under 

4 inches go to a 38 inch conveyor belt. Oversize goes 
to a Simone cone crusher and then to the 38 inch 
conveyor belt. This belt carries the stone from the 
quarry level to ground level where it is then dumped 
on a set of vibrating screens. All stone under 1% 
inches falls on to another conveyor belt and is car- 
ried to loading bins and stockpile (crusher-run). 
Oversize from the screens is fed to 3 Simone cone 
crushers. From the cone crusher it is carried to an- 
other set of vibrating screens — size l 1 /^, %, and 
9/16 inches. All stone over 1% inches is fed back 
to the cone crusher. All stone less than 9/16 inch 
goes to two more screens — sizes % and % inch. 
Stone less than y^ inch goes to a stockpile and is 
used for asphalt filler. The % inch and 9/16 inch 
stone goes to loading bins and stockpile. 

Most of the production from this quarry is used 
for crushed stone in highway construction, railroad 
ballast and aggregate. Owing to the fact that the 
quarry is located within the town limits of Kings 
Mountain, its future development is restricted. To 
the northeast the quarry has been developed almost 
to its limit. However, to the southwest the company 
has ample reserves for the near future and develop- 
ment will be in this direction. 

Lincoln County 

Finger quarry. — This quarry is located about 4.5 
miles northeast of Lincolnton on a tributary to Run 
Creek. It can be reached by traveling northeast on 
State Highway 150 for 1.9 miles past the intersection 
of Highway 150 with Highway 27 at Goodsonville. 
At this point turn southeast onto an unpaved county 
road and follow this road for 0.4 mile to a narrow 
farm road. Then turn southwest onto this road and 
follow it for 0.35 mile to its end. The site of the 
quarry is located about 300 yards southwest of the 
farm house near the edge of the woods and next to 
the creek. 



42 



Very little can be said about this quarry because 
it has been abandoned for many years and is now 
slumped and covered by a thick growth of under- 
brush and trees. It is known that while iron ore 
was being mined in the area the quarry produced 
some fluxing material (Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 79) . 
Also some of the rock was burned to lime because 
part of a beehive kiln is still standing and is in an 
excellent state of preservation. No outcrops could 
be found close by, but a few blocks of white and 
bluish-gray marble are scattered around the kiln. 
The property is now owned by Mr. J. F. Burke of 
Lincolnton. 

Keener (Beal) quarry. — This quarry is located 
about 8 miles northeast of Lincolnton on the north 
side of a paved county road. The road turns west 
off of State Highway 150, 0.7 mile northeast of 
Pumpkin Center and directly across from Macedonia 
Baptist Church. The old quarry site is 0.4 mile 
northwest of Highway 150 and about 100 feet north 
of where the county road crosses a southeast flowing 
tributary to Lippard Creek. On the south side of 
the road about 100 yards downstream are the re- 
mains of an old lime kiln. 

This quarry has been abandoned for many years 
and there are no visible signs of it today. The exca- 
vation has been filled and is now part of a pasture. 
However, in the bed of the creek which flows through 
the pasture a good outcrop of marble is present. It 
strikes N 10° E, dips 20° SE and is exposed for 
about 25 feet along the creek and occurs as a series 
of small ledges. The thickness of the marble could 
not be determined, but it is also exposed in the creek 
bed for a short distance on the south side of the 
road. 

Three varieties of marble are present in about 
equal amounts. The first is a fine-grained, sugary 
textured marble that varies in color from white to 
bluish white and contains very few impurities. The 
second variety is a fine-grained, dark bluish gray 
marble which contains considerable pyrite, chalcopy- 
rite and mica. The third is a fine to medium grained, 
buff to light brown marble. Considerable amounts of 
mica and quartz are present and this appears to be 
the most impure variety. 

Contacts with the adjacent rocks are covered by 
stream alluvium, but a long section of country rock 
is exposed downstream from the marble on the south 
side of the road. Hornblende gneiss is the first rock 
exposed and this is followed by an interval in which 
hornblende gneiss is interlay ered with mica gneiss. 
Further downstream the hornblende gneiss begins 
to give way and finally mica gneiss is the predomi- 



nant rock type. This change takes place over a dis- 
tance of several hundred yards. 

Mr. Mason Beal, whose house is about 150 yards 
southeast of the quarry site is the present owner of 
the property. 

Catawba County 

Setzer quarry. — This quarry is located about 4 
miles south of Catawba and one mile northeast of 
Bandy s Crossroads. The quarry is on the property 
of Mr. Roy Setzer, whose house is on the north side 
of a paved county road 1.0 mile east of Bandys Cross- 
roads. It can be reached by proceeding north from 
Mr. Setzers house along a farm road for 0.2 mile. 
This road leads directly to the quarry which is situ- 
ated on the flood plain between two small streams. 

During 1941 and 1942 the property was worked 
on a relatively small scale by the Catawba Limestone 
Corporation and in 1943 by the Burgess Stone and 
Lime Company. Both companies produced crushed 
stone and agricultural lime for local consumption. 
The quarry has been inactive since 1944 and is now 
filled with water. Depth of the opening could not be 
determined because of the water, but it probably 
does not average over 10 feet. Its outside dimensions 
are about 150 feet long and 100 feet wide. The long 
dimension is across the strike of the formation, which 
is N 15° E and the dip is 50° NW. 

A dark bluish gray, banded fine-grained marble is 
the predominating rock type. Small crystals of 
pyrite and chalcopyrite occur as thin streaks parallel 
to the bands or bedding planes. A subordinate, but 
conspicuous type is a white, fine-grained marble 
that occurs as interbeds with the bluish gray type. 
Large crystals of calcite, up to y 2 inch across, are 
present in both types. The beds of marble on the 
northwest side of the quarry appear to contain more 
impurities, particularly quartz. 

Old limestone quarry of Catawba County (Powell 
quarry). — The site of this abandoned quarry is about 
0.5 mile northwest of the Setzer quarry on another 
tributary creek to the North Fork of Mountain Creek. 
It can be reached either from the Setzer quarry or 
by following the creek downstream from where it 
heads-up near a paved county road. 

The old quarry is slumped and covered by a thick 
growth of trees and underbrush. However, the plant 
site is marked on the west side of the creek by parts 
of the former foundation and fallen timbers. A good 
outcrop of marble is present for about 50 feet along 
the creek bed. It strikes N 15° E, dips about 30° 
northwest and is composed of interbeds of dark 
blue and white fine-grained marble. 



43 



Work was carried on here intermittently for about 
50 years. It is reported (Loughlin, et. al. 1921, p. 
77) that the last work done was about 1916. Some 
marble was burned to lime in one of three kilns 
that were standing at the time. 

Sometime during the early 1940's a stone company 
drilled a series of exploratory holes along the creek 
valley between the Powell quarry and Setzer quarry. 
Mr. T. R. Lofton, a local resident, worked for the 
company while they were drilling in the area. He 
reports that the holes revealed that the marble is 
continuous between the two quarries and that some 
of the holes were drilled to a depth of 300 feet and 
were still in marble. The marble is overlain by 3 to 
10 feet of overburden. 

Mr. John Carpenter of Maiden is the present owner 
of the property. 

Shuford quarry. — This quarry is located about six 
miles south of Catawba and 4.5 miles north of Chron- 
icle, a small community at the intersection of State 
Highways 150 and 16. The quarry area can be reach- 
ed by traveling south out of Catawba on the paved 
county road that goes to Sherrills Ford. At 4.75 
miles from the town limits of Catawba turn south 
onto an unpaved county road and follow this road 
for 1.4 miles to the farm of Mr. Joe Johnson. The 
house is on the west side of the road and the out- 
crops can be located from there. 

In the only previous description of this property 
(Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 77) the writers referred 
to only one outcrop of marble, as "best exposed in 
North Fork about 15 yards above the bridge where 
it has a thickness of 10 feet or more". During the 
present investigation three occurrences of marble 
were located in the area and it is uncertain which of 
these was the site of the original quarry. 

One of the occurrences is about 1000 feet north- 
west of Mr. John's house on the bank of a southwest 
flowing tributary to the North Fork of Mountain 
Creek. It consists of large blocks of white fine-grain- 
ed marble in two piles. Many of the blocks contain 
drill holes, which suggests that the marble was 
quarried elsewhere and dumped here. 

About 1000 feet south of the Johnson house and 
on the opposite side of the road, is the entrance to 
the old Shuford farm. The farm house has been 
abandoned but is still standing. In a N 50° E direc- 
tion at a distance of 700 feet from the front of the 
house is another large block of white, fine-grained 
marble. It is on the northwest bank of another tribu- 
tary to North Fork and also contains several drill 
holes. This block also appears to have been dumped 
here. The remains of an old kiln are located on the 



east side of the creek 450 feet S 45° W of the Shu- 
ford house,! 

The only outcrop of marble found that is definitely 
in place is located about 2000 feet downstream from 
the first occurrence described, or about 1500 feet 
upstream from the confluence of this tributary with 
the North Fork. It can be reached by turning west 
onto a farm road 0.3 mile south of the Johnson house. 
This road deadends 500 feet west of an old house 
at the creek. The marble is exposed in the creek 
bed about 600 feet upstream from the road. It 
strikes N 20° E and dips 55° NW. A section about 
10 feet thick is exposed and consists of interbeds of 
white and dark blue, fine-grained marble. Some beds 
contain considerable amounts of mica, quartz and 
pyrite and are quite impure. An amphibole schist 
is in contact with the marble on the upstream side. 
The same rock type is also exposed on the down- 
stream side of the marble but there is a covered 
interval between the two and the contact is con- 
cealed. 

Although no physical evidence of the original 
quarry site could be found, this area closely con- 
forms to the previous description and is most likely 
the locality from which the marble was quarried. 
The remains of an old kiln are located on the west 
side of the creek about 300 feet downstream from 
the outcrop. 

Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Counties 
General Statement 

Beginning in south central Yadkin County and 
continuing in a northeastern direction through south- 
eastern Surry and southwestern and central Stokes 
County is a narrow belt of metasedimentary rocks 
that form Sauratown Mountain, Moore Knob, Hang- 
ing Rock, Cook Wall and other large and small 
mountains of the area. The rocks of this belt are 
predominantly quartzite and quartz-muscovite schist. 
Because of their general similarity in lithologic 
character and continuity along strike, these rocks 
were grouped with the Kings Mountain belt on the 
Geologic Map of North Carolina (1958) and referred 
to as the Stokes County belt. 

Except for reconnaisance geologic mapping by 
Mundorff (1948) this belt has received very little at- 
tention, and consequently its structural and litho- 
logic relationships are known in only a general way. 
The moutains are capped by massive quartzite beds 
with the schist becomig more predominent near the 
base. In general the strike is northeast and the dip 
varies considerably, but usually does not exceed 15 
or 20 degrees. 



44 



The quartzite and schist unit is surrounded by a 
unit of gneiss that includes several types of inter- 
bedded gneisses and schists, most of which appear 
to be of sedimentary origin (Mundorff, 1948, p. 7). 
A quartz-micafeldspar gneiss, with the amount of 
quartz varying considerably from place to place, is 
the most abundant rock type. The second most im- 
portant rock type included in this unit is quartz- 
mica schist. Biotite and muscovite mica usually are 
present in about equal amounts, but locally one type 
predominates over the other. Other types of rock 
included in this unit are hornblende-plagioclase 
gneiss, hornblende schist and quartzite. 

The strike of the gneiss unit is consistently north- 
east, but the dip varies considerable. Vertical dips 
are very rare and dips less than 45 degrees are more 
common than dips greater than 45 degrees. On the 
southeast side of the quartzite and schist unit the 
dip is uniformly to the southeast. However, on the 
northwest side the dip is apparently reversed and is 
generally to the northwest. The structure of the 
gneiss unit is therefore apparently a broad anti- 
clinorium whose axis extends from southwestern 
Stokes County to northeastern Rockingham County 
(Mundorff, 1948, p. 10) . 

Marble in the Quartzite and Gneiss Units 

Included in the quartzite and gneiss units are inter- 
beds, or lenses, of marble. However, most of the 
marble is associated with the gneiss unit, but one 
deposit on the Yadkin River near Silome is apparent- 
ly in the quartzite unit. 

Based on the lithologic character, rock association 
and area distribution, two distinct types of marble 
are present. One type is white to dark blue, fine 
grained, high calcium to dolomitic marble that is very 
similar to that in the Kings Mountain and Brevard 
belts. It occurs in a series of outcrops that begin 
south of Enon in Yadkin County and continues across 
Forsyth County through Vienna almost to the Stokes 
County line near Germanton. All of these outcrops 
lie southeast of a line drawn between the Dan River 
fault, which borders the Triassic basin on the north- 
west, and an unnamed fault that separates the 
quartzite unit from another small occurrence of 
Triassic rocks in southeastern Yadkin County (see 
Geologic Map of North Carolina, 1958). Owing to 
the lack of good exposures it was not possible in 
every case to establish the rock types with which 
these deposits are associated. However, in practical- 
ly every instance where the relationship is visible, 
quarzite and/or amphibole bearing rocks are present 
in varying amounts. 



The other type of marble is present on the north- 
west side of the Triassic fault and its extension, and 
is predominently a whitish, coarsely crystalline mar- 
ble. From the limited chemical analyses available it 
appears that high calcium marble is more common 
than dolomitic marble. The marble occurs inter- 
bedded with mica schist and quartzite, the beds 
ranging from a few inches to several feet in thick- 
ness. Large calcite crystals, from 1 to 5 mm. across, 
are quite common and the most conspicuous exces- 
sory mineral is mica. The outcrops of this type of 
marble are widely separated and do not form a con- 
spicuous pattern as does the other type. 

History of Production 

Marble deposits in Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth 
Counties were known and worked to supply stone 
for local use and for burning into lime prior to the 
War Between the States. Emmons (1852, p. 162-63) 
visited the Bole jack and Martin properties and re- 
ported that the thickness at both deposits exceeded 
40 feet and both beds made good lime. Included in 
Emmons report of 1852 is a report in the form of a 
letter from Dr. S. McClenahan in which he stated: 
"Lime in great abundance, and of excellent quality, 
is found stretching across the State, from Danbury, 
in Stokes County, to Kings Mountain in South Caro- 
lina. I saw it at Williams Kiln on the Yadkin, at 
Poff's, ten miles above Salem, at Hoosertown, at 
Germanton, and at Martin's near the Virginia line. 
I procured a piece near Germanton, at Mr. Bolejack's, 
which is an excellent marble, and receives a fine 
polish. The quantity of limestone at this point ap- 
pears to be inexhaustible, and of good quality; in 
fact, all the lime I saw at all the kilns appeared to 
be of good quality." 

There are no records available that indicate how 
long these kilns were operated, but it is unlikely 
that they were worked for many years after the 
war. By 1900 they had all been inactive for quite 
sometime. 

During 1914, 1915 and 1916, the deposit on the 
south side of the Yadkin River near Siloam was 
worked by the Lime Rock Lime Company. The rock 
was conveyed by cable to a small plant on the north 
side of the river and pulverized for agricultural lime- 
stone. A flood in 1916 destroyed the plant and the 
quarry remained inactive until 1942 when it was 
acquired by the State Highway and Public Works 
Commission. The State operated the quarry for 
crushed stone until 1943. However, owing to an in- 
creasing amount of overburden and a war time short- 
age of equipment, the quarry was closed and has 



45 



" SURRY * COUNTY 



/ 
\ 



< 




LEGEND 

US. HIGHWAYS 

STATE HIGHWAYS 

▲ MARBLE OUTCROPS 
L WATKINS PROPERTY 
2.HAUSER PROPERTY 
3. JORDAN PROPERTY 
4. PEARL PROPERTY 
5.BOWEN PROPERTY 
6.EDWARD PROPERTY 
7WALL PROPERTY 
8.BOLEJACK QUARRY 
9.MARTINS LIME KILN 
IO.LIME ROCK QUARRY 



1 

N 



k 



kmg- KINGS MOUNTAIN GROUP 
mgn-MICA GNEISS 
"fiU-TRIASSIC 



FIGURE 13. 



MAP SHOWING MARBLE IN STOKES, 
YADKIN AND FORSYTH COUNTIES 



46 



remained inactive since that time. The property is 
still owned by the State Highway Commission. 

Considerable interest was shown in the marble de- 
posits in Yadkin and Stokes Counties by several 
companies during 1959. One company conducted an 
extensive drilling program on the deposits between 
Rural Hall and Germanton, and also drilled several 
exploratory holes at the deposit on the Yadkin River. 
The logs and cores from these holes were not avail- 
able for study and consequently the results are un- 
known at the present time. 

Description of Workings 
Yadkin County 

Lime Rock quarry. — This quarry is located on the 
south side of the Yadkin River, 6.5 miles northeast 
of Boonville and 6 miles northwest of East Bend. 
The quarry can be reached by traveling on State 
Highway 67 for 4.1 miles west of East Bend. At 
this point turn north onto a paved county road that 
goes to the small community of Richmond Hill and 
follow this road for 1.8 miles to an unpaved county 
road that turns north, then proceed north on this 
unpaved county road for 2.1 miles. At this point 
the abandoned quarry road intersects the county 
road on the north side. The quarry is located about 
0.5 mile north, next to the river. 

The quarry is situated at the base of a steep bluff 
that rises 150-200 feet above the river. The face of 
the quarry was developed southward into the bluff 
and an area about 100 feet high and 80 feet wide 
has been exposed. The marble is present in the face 
for about 70 feet above the floor of the quarry and 
is overlain by about 50 feet of an interbedded se- 
quence of mica schist and a highly siliceous gneiss or 
quartzite. The contact between the marble and the 
overlying rock is not sharp, but it is evident that 
the contact steadily becomes lower to the west, and 
finally plunges beneath the floodplain about 800 feet 
west of the quarry face. To the east of the quarry 
the marble is present in the face of the bluff for 
about 150 feet. The strike and dip of the marble 
and overlying rock is quite variable, but the above 
relationship suggest that the. overall structure is 
that of an asymmetrical anticline that plunges to the 
south or southwest. 

In composition the marble ranges from layers that 
are quite pure to those that contain conspicuous 
amounts of impurities, mainly in the form of quartz 
stringers, coarse grains of mica and pyroxenes. The 
color is predominently a very light greenish white, 
In the lower part of the quarry face the marble is 



massive or thick bedded. However, higher up it 
becomes thinner bedded as the interbeds of mica 
schist and quartzite increase. Large piles of waste 
blocks are scattered around the quarry floor and an 
examination of them reveals the character of the 
marble and its relationship to the associated rocks. 

During 1940 several exploratory holes were drilled 
by a private company (Murdock, unpublished re- 
port). One of these holes was drilled in the floor 
of the quarry to a depth of 60 feet and was all in 
marble. Another hole was drilled on top of the ridge 
about 300 feet south of the quarry. It was 160 feet 
deep and marble was present in the lower part. 

There is evidently a large tonnage of marble pres- 
ent in this deposit, but it could not be recovered by 
ordinary open pit quarrying methods. There is over 
50 feet of overburden on the marble and some type 
of underground mining methods would have to be 
used. 

Watkins property. — This property is located in the 
southeast corner of Yadkin County about 1 mile 
west of the Yadkin River, and 1 mile southeast of 
the small community of Enon. It can be reached by 
traveling west on U. S. Highway 421 for 0.5 mile 
beyond the bridge over the Yadkin River. At this 
point, an unpaved farm road turns south. Follow 
this road southwest for 0.4 mile and bear to the right 
(southwest) at the first fork. About 500 feet be- 
yond the fork the road crosses the head of a draw. 
The remains of an old kiln are on the side of the 
draw 50 feet south of the road, and several excava- 
tions are on the opposite side of the draw about 100 
feet east of the kiln. 

About one-half of the kiln which was constructed 
with hand-made bricks and various size blocks of 
quartzite and hornblende gneiss is still standing. 
At the base of the kiln is a rather large pile of mar- 
ble. As there are no outcrops of marble in place at 
this locality, it is assumed that the marble found at 
the kiln is representative of what was quarried and 
burned. Two distinct types of marble are present; 
one is a grayish white, fine-grained variety, and the 
other is bluish gray and fine grained. Both varieties 
are in elongated slabs and appear to be somewhat 
schistose. Limited chemical analyses indicate that 
the marble contains 90 percent plus of total carbon- 
ates, and that the MgC0 3 is less than 5 percent. 
Numerous loose slabs and small piles of marble are 
scattered through the woods between the kiln and 
quarry excavations. 

The sides of the excavation from which the marble 
was quarried are slumped and grown over with trees 
and underbrush. There is no marble exposed and 



47 



the only rock found in place occurs along the east 
and southeast side of the excavation. It consists of 
iron-stained, fine grained, thin to medium bedded 
quartzite with thin interbeds of mica schist. The 
strike is to the northwest and the dip is about 65° 
southwest. The largest excavation is about 100 feet 
long (northwest), 50 feet wide and as much as 15 
feet below ground level. 

It appears that the deposit worked here was a 
small lense that has been worked out to its horizontal 
boundaries. Whether or not in continues along strike 
or depth can be proved only by drilling. The property 
is presently owned by Mr. H. A. Taylor of Enon. 

Stokes County 

Bolejack quarry. — This quarry is located in south 
central Stokes County, 4.5 miles northeast of Rural 
Hall and 2 miles northwest of Germanton. It can 
best be reached by traveling northwest on State 
Highway 8 for 2.4 miles past its intersection with 
State Highway 65, northeast of Germanton. At this 
point the Bolejack road, an unpaved county road, 
turn southwest. Follow this road for 2.2 miles to 
Neatmans Creek. On the southwest side of the creek 
is the house of Mr. Alfred Smith, and the old quarry 
site is located across the road from Mr. Smith's 
house, on the bank of a small tributary to Neatmans 
Creek. 

This is one of the oldest recorded kilns and quar- 
ries in the State, but it has been abandoned for many 
years and very little can be seen today. Along the 
bluff of the tributary marble 5 to 6 feet thick is 
exposed. It is mostly a coarsely crystalline, white 
to bluish white rock. It occurs as thin beds, a few 
inches to a foot thick, interbedded with biotite mica 
schist and quartzite. The quartzite is white, fine 
grained and thin to medium bedded. Above the mar- 
ble-bearing sequence, quartzite is the predominent 
rock type. 

The marble-schist-quartzite sequence strikes N 80° 
E and dips about 10° SE. Total thickness of the mar- 
ble could not be determined because of the flat dip 
and cover, but Emmons (1852, p. 165), who visited 
the quarry at the time it was being worked reported 
a thickness in excess of 40 feet. Mr. Albert Smith, 
on whose farm the marble is located, is the present 
owner. 

Wall property. — About 1.5 miles southwest of the 
Bolejack quarry is the site of another kiln and small 
quarry, referred to locally as the Old Grime farm, 
which is now owned by Mr. J. E. Wall of Rural Hall. 
This site has not been mentioned in previous publi- 



cations and very little is known about its history. 
However, it was very likely worked about the same 
time as the Bolejack quarry. 

It can be reached by continuing southwest from 
the Bolejack quarry for 0.5 mile to the intersection 
with another unpaved county road. The continuation 
of the Bolejack road is off -set 300 feet to the south- 
east. Follow this off -set road for about 0.3 mile south- 
west of where it crosses Town Fork Creek. At this 
point the road crosses a small draw at the edge of 
a wooded area. About 200 feet south of the road, in 
the middle of a fenced pasture, are the remains of 
an old kiln. The marble outcrop is located south of 
the kiln along the bluff of the creek. 

The description of the interbedded marble-schist- 
quartzite sequence given for the Bolejack quarry 
applies equally well to this outcrop, except that this 
is a much better exposure. The marble is exposed 
for several hundred feet along the lower part of the 
bluff and the interval in which the marble occurs is 
20 to 40 feet thick. In the lower part of the bluff the 
marble is thicker bedded, some beds reaching a 
thickness of 5 feet or more. Whether or not the 
marble exposed represents the total thickness of the 
sequence could not be determined because the base 
of the bluff is covered by soil. However, there is a 
good possibility that the marble continues below 
ground level for some depth. 

Several hundred feet west of the kiln, on top of 
the ridge, is a depression 5 or 6 feet deep and about 
10 feet in diameter. This is reported by Mr. Wall to 
be a caved shaft from which the stone burned in the 
kiln was removed. The original depth of the shaft, 
and the depth to the marble are unknown. 

Most of the recent exploratory drilling previously 
mentioned was done on this property. 

Edwards property. — This property is located 0.5 
mile southeast of the Wall property on a north flow- 
ing tributary to Town Fork Creek. It can be reached 
by continuing southwest on the same road from the 
Wall property for 0.2 mile to the first intersection. 
Turn left (southeast) here and travel 0.5 mile to Mr. 
Edward's house, which is situated on a sharp bend 
in the road. 

The marble is exposed for about 30 feet along the 
bluff above the stream, directly east of Mr. Edward's 
barn. It is identical in character with the marble- 
schist-quartzite sequence at the Bolejack and Wall 
properties. Only about the upper 10 feet of the se- 
quence is exposed and the quartzite grades upward 
into a fine grained, quartz-mica gneiss. The remains 
of an old kiln are present at the foot of the bluff next 
to the creek. 



48 



Martins lime kiln. — This property is located on a 
north flowing tributary to Snow Creek, 4.5 miles 
northeast of Danbury and 3 miles west of Preston- 
ville. It can best be reached by traveling northeast 
from Danbury on a paved county road for 2.6 miles 
to Hartman. At Hartman turn left (northwest) and 
proceed on a paved county road for 2.4 miles to an 
intersection with an unpaved county road. Turn 
right (east) on this unpaved road and travel 0.7 mile 
to a farm road. Turn left (northeast) onto this 
farm road and travel 0.6 mile to the house of Mr. 
John Moorefield. The quarry site is located about 
0.25 mile northeast in a steep bluff on the east side 
of the creek. 

The working face of the quarry is completely cov- 
ered by slump material and underbrush and the 
marble is not exposed. However, on the west side 
of the creek, just a few feet north of where an aban- 
doned road crosses the creek, is a large pile of waste 
material from the quarry. Most of the marble ex- 
amined is white to light green and coarsely crystal- 
line. It contains calcite crystals up to 14 mcn m 
diameter as well as conspicuous flakes of biotite. 
Some of the marble is streaked with thin seams of 
serpentine, which in places is altered to asbestos. 
Stringers of quartz and mica are interlayered with 
some marble which has an overall appearance very 
similar to that at the Lime Rock quarry in Yadkin 
County. 

The overlying rock at the quarry faces is about 
15 feet thick and consists of alternating layers of 
fine grained quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss and biotite 
gneiss. The gneiss strikes N 55° W and dips 15° NE. 
Downstream from the quarry are several large out- 
crops of dark green amphibolite gneiss. This is over- 
lain by a quartz biotite gneiss. Further downstream 
occur large outcrops of coarse grained quartz-feld- 
spar gneiss. 

Forsyth County 

Hauser property. — This property is located 0.2 
mile north of U. S. Highway 421, 2.1 miles west of 
Pfafftown and 3.3 miles east of the Yadkin River at 
the small community of Vienna. It can be reached 
by turning north off of U. S. Highway 421 onto a 
deadend farm road, 0.2 mile east of Vienne. Pro- 
ceed north on this road for 0.2 mile to a small south- 
west flowing creek. The old quarry site is on the 
south side of the creek 200 feet downstream from 
where the road crosses the creek. 

The quarry was developed in a bluff and is roughly 
semi-circular in outline. It is about 100 feet long, 
parallel to the creek, 50 feet wide and 12 to 15 below 



the top of the bank. A small pit about 4 feet deep 
is present in the floor of the quarry. This site has 
not been worked for many years and the sides of the 
quarry are completely covered by slump and under- 
growth. The only marble found in place is a small 
outcrop in the creek bed opposite the quarry. It is 
light gray, fine grained and appears to be schistose. 

In a plowed field on the north side of the creek, 
numerous, various size pieces of marble are scattered 
through the soil. Two varieties are present in about 
equal amounts. One is very similar to that exposed 
in the creek and the other is dark bluish gray and 
fine grained. 

It is reported by Mr. P. E. Hauser, owner of the 
property, that sometime during the early 1940's a 
private company drilled 3 exploratory holes along 
the creek valley between the quarry and the road. 
Each hole cut about 60 feet of marble, which was 
overlain by 10 feet of overburden. 

Jordan (Franklin) property. — This property is 
located north of U. S. Highway 421, 1.5 miles north- 
east of the Hauser property on the south side of an 
east flowing creek. It can be reached by traveling 
west from Pfafftown on U. S. Highway 421 for 0.8 
mile to Mr. P. E. Jordan's house. The house is on 
the north side of the highway and the old workings 
are 300-400 feet northwest of the house at the foot 
of a hill. 

An abandoned farm road leads from behind the 
Jordan house to the creek valley. On the east and 
west sides of this road, at the point it reaches the 
floodplain, are the quarry excavations. The excava- 
tion on the west side of the road appears to have been 
the main quarry. It is about 50 feet long, 30 feet 
wide and up to 15 feet deep. Murdock (unpublished 
report) states that in the floor of the quarry there 
was another excavation about 25 feet deep. During 
the early 1900's considerable stone was supposedly 
quarried here and some of it was used in construc- 
tion work at Salem. A heavy rain flooded the quarry 
and it has been inactive since that time. 

The sides and floor of the excavations are complete- 
ly covered by soil and underbrush and no marble 
can be seen in place. However, there are numerous 
slabs and chips of loose marble scattered around 
the excavations and in a plowed field to the west. It 
is very similar to that at the Hauser property and 
both the grayish white and dark bluish gray varie- 
ties are present. Several hundred feet west of the 
farm road, in the bed of a north flowing tributary, is 
a small outcrop of grayish white, fine grained mar- 
ble. It appears to be in place and strikes N 40° E 
and dips about 30° SE. 



49 



There is a good possibility that the marble is more 
or less continuous between the Hauser and Jordan 
properties, but this could be proved only by drilling 
along strike. 

Bowen property. — This property is located on the 
east side of a large unnamed creek, 2 miles southeast 
of Germanton. The creek is a north flowing tribu- 
tary to Town Fork Creek and is situated between 
Redbank Creek on the east and Buffalo Creek on 
the west. It can be reached by traveling east from 
Germanton on State Highway 65 for 1.3 miles to 
the Baux Mountain road, an unpaved county road. 
Turn south onto this road and travel about 1.5 miles 
to the house on the J. R. Bowen farm. The house is 
on the west side of the road and was occupied by a 
Mr. Davis at the time of this investigation. 

The old quarry is about 0.25 mile west of the farm- 
house and can be reached by following a farm road 
which begins just north of the house. A small exca- 
vation about 15 feet in diameter and the remains of 
an old kiln are situated next to the creek. The hole 
is partly filled with water and the sides are badly 
slumped and covered. However, a fairly good out- 
crop of marble is exposed on the east side of the 
hole. It is a dark bluish gray, banded, fine grained 
marble that strikes N 30° E and dips 25° SE. Num- 
erous small piles and loose blocks of marble are 
scattered through the woods in the vicinity of the 
quarry and kiln. Most of it is the blue variety just 
described, but some of it is a grayish white, fine 
grained marble. 

The rock type with which the marble is associated 
could not be found in place ; however, numerous loose 
pieces of thin-bedded quartzite are scattered through 
the woods above the excavation and in a plowed 
field. 

From the size of the excavation it appears that 
only a small amount of marble was quarried. The 
quarry has been abandoned for many years and was 
probably worked prior to 1900. 

Pearl property. — This property is located about 
0.4 mile upstream (south) from the Bowen property. 



It can be reached by continuing south on the Baux 
Mountain road for about 0.5 mile past the Bowen 
farm to a farm road that leads to the Pearl house. 
The marble outcrop is located at the foot of a steep 
hill about 0.5 mile west of the house. 

The marble is exposed intermittently for about 
200 feet along the foot of the hill and in a small 
ravine at the north end of the hill. About 6 feet of 
marble are exposed but it could not be determined if 
this is the total thickness. The best exposure of 
marble is in, and on the south side of the ravine and 
it displays the extremely contorted nature of the 
bedding, which is unique to this outcrop. This twist- 
ing and tight folding of the bedding made it difficult 
to measure the strike and dip, but as it could best 
be determined the marble strikes N 10° E and dips 
about 25° SE. 

On a fresh surface the marble is light greenish 
gray, fine grained and thin bedded. Thin beds of 
quartzite and amphibole are interbedded with the 
marble and on a weathered surface these harder beds 
stand out and accentuate the contorted bedding. 

Several hundred feet south of the marble outcrop 
is a west flowing tributary to the main creek. Ex- 
posed in the bed of the tributary creek is a long sec- 
tion of interlayered hornblende gneiss and quartzite. 
, The hornblende gneiss predominates in the lower end 
of the creek and the quartzite in the upper end. In- 
cluded with the quartzite and gneiss are several 
layers of chlorite schist. 

A kiln is reported to have been located on the 
floodplain of the main creek south of the marble 
outcrop, but its location could not be found. 

Other prospects. — Downstream from the Bowen 
and Pearl properties near the Stokes-Forsyth Coun- 
ty line, a local resident reports that white marble 
was cut in two water wells that were drilled within 
the past 15 years. Also, an old kiln is supposed to be 
located on a small tributary in the same general area, 
but it could not be found. 

If marble is present near the Stokes-Forsyth 
County line, it is concealed by stream alluvium and 
soil and can be found only by drilling. 



50 



Selected List of Chemical Analyses 



Sample 
No. 

1. 

2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 
7. 



Murphy Marble 



7. 



SiO s 

1.20 
2.93 
0.10 
0.11 
8.05 
1.52 
1.40 



A1 2 3 

0.82 

0.30 



CaO 

52.90 
32.05 
50.32 



MgO 

1.91 

17.27 

4.31 



co 2 

43.66 
44.92 
44.28 



R 2 O a CaC0 3 MgCO a 

94.46 4.01 

0.56(Fe) 



1.06 
0.75 
2.98 
0.50 



58.47 
50.15 
65.14 
96.90 



39.62T 

40.65 

29.03 

1.58 



Culberson quarry, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 149. 
Kinsey quarry, Hunter and Gildersleeve, 1946, p. 24. 
Regal quarry, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 149. 

Nantahala Talc and Limestone Company, white marble from east side of quarry. 
Sample collected September, 1946, from files of the Division of Mineral Resources. 
Nantahala Talc and Limestone Company, marble from near quarry. Sample col- 
lected in 1920, from files of the Division of Mineral Resources. 
Nantahala Talc and Limestone Company, black marble from center face of quarry. 
Sample collected in June, 1947, from files of the Division of Mineral Resources. 
Talc Mountain Branch, sample collected in June, 1947, from ledge above old talc 
prospect pit, from files of the Division of Mineral Resources. 



Macon County 



Sample No. 

1. 



Acid Ins. 

30.3 



Fe 2 3 

0.94 



CaO 

37.5 



MgO 

0.54 



Ign. Loss 
29.9 



1. Dill lime kiln, -white, coarse-grained marble from outcrop on hill, 50 feet north 
of unpaved county road. Sample collected in September, 1959, analysis by North 
Carolina State College Minerals Research Laboratory. 



Jackson County 



Sample No. 

1. 



Si0 2 

16.45 



Al 2 O s 

7.06 



Fe 2 3 

2.80 



CaO 

39.91 



MgO 

0.25 



1. Marble from Caney Fork, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 151. 



Hot Springs Area — Madison County 



Sample 


No. 


SiO„ 


1. 




4.1 


2. 




3.0 


3. 




2.3 


4. 




3.6 


5. 




7.4 


6. 




2T.3 


7. 




16.4 


8. 




1.6 


9. 




9.1 


10. 




7.9 


♦Includes R>0 3 





co 2 

31.64 



Fe 2 3 


R/> 3 


CaO 


MgO 


Ign. Loss 


(0.2*7) 


1.4 


30.0 


19.1 


45.1 


(0.30) 


1.0 


30.2 


20.1 


45.7 


(0.33) 


0.9 


30.0 


20.5 


46.5 


(0.20) 


0.9 


30.1 


20.2 


45.5 


(0.42) 


2.8 


27.8 


19.5 


42.2 


(0.27) 


0.8 


30.2 


20.1 


46.5 


0.21 




46.4 


0.35 


36.2 


0.09 




54.5 


0.42 


42.6 


0.35 




47.5 


. 2.49 


40.0 






42.6* 


7.4 


41.5 



1. Buquo quarry — average composition of northern half of beds exposed in north- 
west quarry. 

2. Buquo quarry — average composition of southern half of beds exposed in north- 
west quarry. 



51 



3. Buquo quarry — average composition of northern third of beds exposed in south- 
east quarry. 

4. Buquo quarry — average composition of middle third of beds exposed in southeast 
quarry. 

5. Buquo quarry — average composition of southern third of beds exposed in south- 
east quarry. 

6. Buquo quarry — average composition of beds exposed in quarry on east bank of 
French Broad River, 1200 feet northeast of Hot Springs station. 

7. Coarse grained, crystalline marble from Walnut Creek locality, 2 miles northwest 
of Marshall. 

S. Blue limestone from the Sandsuck formation. Sample collected on the north side 
of Franklin Mountain road, 1.5 miles west of State Highway 212 on the property 
of Mr. Troy Rice. 

9. Blue limestone from the Sandsuck formation. Sample collected on the north side 
of Franklin Mountain road, 0.45 mile west of State Highway 212 on the property 
of Mr. Franklin. 

10. Dark-gray limestone from the Honaker formation. Sample collected on Mine Hol- 
low Creek, 3 miles northwest of Hot Springs. 

Note: Samples 1-6 were collected by E. C. Van Horn, T.V.A., and analyzed by the North 
Carolina State College Minerals Research Laboratory, August, 1958. Samples 
7-10 were collected by the writer and analyzed by the North Carolina State 
College Minerals Research Laboratory, January and September, 1959. 

Brevard Belt 



Sample No. 


Si0 2 


Fe„0 :! 


R 2 : . 


CaO 


MgO 


Ign. Loss 


1. 


3.0 




1.8 


31.9 


17.5 


44.9 


2'. 


9.7 


0.43 


3.3 


25.9 


17.9 


40.1 


3. 


24.2 


1.3 


5.5 


21.3 


14.1 


33.2 


4. 


4.2 


0.57 


2.4 


28.1 


19.2 


43.8 


5. 


3.4 


0.64 


1.4 


28.8 


17.7 


44.9 


6. 


2.2 




0.2 


53.9 


0.45 


42.89 


7. 


0.96 




0.33 


53.2 


1.30 


43.48 


8. 


1.1 


0.17 


0.50 


31.5 


19.0 


46.50 


9. 


0.8 


0.17 


0.60 


31.8 


18.9 


46.30 



10. 0.2 0.10 0.60 32'.8 20.0 46.80 

1. Transylvania County, 2 miles north of Ecusta. 

2. Translyvania County, 2.75 miles north of Ecusta. 

3. Transylvania County, about 3.5 miles southwest of the Transylvania-Henderson 
County line, near the headwaters of Turkey Creek (Curitan area). 

4. Transylvania County, about 1 mile southwest of Transylvania-Henderson County 
line, 0.25 mile east of State Highway 280 and 300 feet east of Boylston Creek on 
W. A. Barnard farm. 

5. Henderson County, 1.5 miles northeast of the Henderson-Transylvania County 
line, under the fourth creek bridge abutment northeast of Boylston Creek Church 
on State Highway 280. 

6. Henderson County, blue marble from Fletcher Limestone Company quarry. 

7. Henderson County, white marble from Fletcher Limestone Company quarry. 

8. Buncombe County, about 0.25 mile north of the Buncombe-Henderson County 
line, 75 feet west of the Southern Railway tracks on Pinner Creek. 

9. Buncombe County, on Robinson Creek about 1 mile north of the Asheville-Hender- 
sonville airport and 0.75 mile southeast of Christ School. 

10. Buncombe County, about 1.75 miles northeast of the Asheville-Hendersonville 
airport on the east side of Groves Lake at an old lime kiln. 

Note: Analyses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10, from Ingle (1947, p. 5). Analyses 6 and 7 
from the files of the Division of Mineral Resources. 

52 



Mitchell County 

Sample No. Acid Ins. Fe A1 2 3 CaO MgO Ign. Loss 

1. 0.20 0.07 0.08 31.38 21.46 46.46 

1. Bandana dolomite marble, from Hunter and Gildersleeve, 1946, p. 28. 



McDowell County 



Acid Ins. 


Fe 


CaO 


MgO 


Ign. Loss 


1.83 


0.52 


29.92 


2-0.38 


46.18 


5.3 


0.45 


28.16 


18.6 + 


44.48 


2.63 


0.27 


29.36 


10.43 


45.62 


2.83 


0.57 


30.96 


20.42 


45.41 


8.60 


0.25 


27.36 


19.53 


41.56 


0.74 


0.26 


29.76 


21.39 


45.91 


3.13 


0.30 


28.88 


20.56 


43.61 


38.36(Si0 2 ) 


15. V 


(R 2 3 ) 40.74 (Cac0 3 ) 


5.14(MgC0 3 ) 



Sample No. 

1. 
2. 
3. 
4. 
5. 
6. 
7. 



1. Outcrop sample, North Fork Catawba River, 3 miles north of Ashford. 

2. Dark-colored stone from Clinchfield quarry. 

3. Light-colored stone from Clinchfield quarry. 

4. Dolomite from inside Linville Caverns. 

5. Outcrop sample from exposures in valley along west side of ridge back of Linville 
Caverns. 

6. Outcrop sample from shattered, galena-bearing zone in ridge 0.75 mile north of 
Linville Caverns. 

7. Outcrop sample from dolomite beds above shattered, galena-bearing zone in ridge, 
0.75 mile north of Linville Caverns. 

8. Average of 41 composite samples from siliceous marble, 2 miles northwest of 
Marion. 

Note: Analyses of samples 1-7 from Hunter and Gildersleeve, 1946, p. 27-28. 
Analyses of sample 8 furnished by Mr. E. C. Van Horn, January, 1959. 



Sample No. 


Acid Ins. 


ALO 


1. 




2.60 


2. 




1.28 


3. 




0.45 


4. 


29.5 




5. 


28.9 




♦Includes R 2 3 







Kings Mountain Belt 



Fe 2 3 

1.54 
3.17 
4.46 



CaO 


MgO 


Ign. Loss 


34. 27 


20.90 




33.18 


19.07 




35.90 


17.63 




22.50* 


14.20 


33.4 


34.70* 


3.70 


30.0 



1. Dolomite marble from Powell quarry, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 151. 

2. Dolomite marble from Shuford quarry, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 151. 

3. Dolomite marble from Keener quarry, Loughlin, et. al., 1921, p. 151. 

4. Marble from. Setzer quarry. 

5. Marble from Kings Mountain quarry. 

Note: Samples 4 and 5 were collected by the writer and analyzed by the North 
Carolina State College Minerals Research Laboratory, January, 1959. 



53 



Stokes, Yadkin and Forsyth Counties 



Sample No. 


Acid Ins 


1. 


9.4 


2. 


81.4 


3. 


2.1 


4. 


10.6 


5. 


63.4 


6. 


50.0 


7. 


46.8 


8. 


12.8 


* Includes R«.0 3 





CaO* 

50.2 
9.2 
53.6 
48.2 
16.8 
25.5 
29.2 
44.6 



MgO 

0.6 
0.3 
0.8 
1.9 
1.9 
1.2 
1.2 
3.7 



Tgn. Loss 

39.4 
7.7 
42.6 
39.0 
14.0 
21.5 
21.9 
38.4 



1. Yadkin County, white, coarse-grained marble from Lime Rock quarry. 

2. Yadkin County, siliceous interbed from Lime Rock quarry. 

3. Yadkin County, white, fine-grained marble from Watkins property. 

4. Yadkin County, blue, fine-grained marble from Watkins property. 

5. Forsyth County, dark blue, fine-grained marble from J. R. Bowen property. 

6. Forsyth County, light gray, fine-grained, contorted marble from Pearl property. 

7. Forsyth County, light greenish, fine-grained marble from Pearl property. 

8. Stokes County, white, coarse-grained marble from Bolejack quarry. 

Note: Samples collected by writer and analyzed by North Carolina State College 
Minerals Research Laboratory, December, 1958. 






54 



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56 



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